Event Title

Holocrinus the First Moving Crinoid or How CO2 Forced a Sea Lily to Walk

Mentor 1

Margaret Fraiser

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

28-4-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

28-4-2017 4:00 PM

Description

The Permo-Triassic Extinction was the most devastating mass-extinction event to have ever impacted life on earth. Ninety six percent of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates species went extinct. The extinction was a result of a massive volcanic event the Earth has never seen since. The release of CO2 into the atmosphere is hypothesized to have caused geologically rapid global warming causing marine invertebrates to be unable to develop their skeletons, due to the acidification of the ocean. Of the Phylum Echinodermata, only one genus from the class Crinoidea survived. The Subclass Articulata represents the first crinoid with the ability to mobilize and contain a distinct star structure. This new major shift in morphology and behavior can be seen within modern crinoids. Two crinoid species represent this shift during the Lower Triassic, Moenocrinus and Holocrinus. Based on their structure we suggest that the chaotic times of extinction created new evolutionary pressures. The pressures forced the species to develop radically new methods of survival. In order to correlate the mobility, and morphology change we examined fossils in lab and compared the findings with previous papers, examined the fossil fragments using digital microscopy, and we used hydrochloric acid to dissolve the surround matrix. Lastly, upon reviewing the literature we looked for patterns and trends in post extinction reefs and contrasted them with our findings. We hypothesize that the rapid rising levels of CO2 and acidification of the oceans were the primary biological stressors on the crinoids forcing them to become mobile. We can use this massive shift in one species to extrapolate upon our own current rising CO2 levels and how this could affect modern marine invertebrates and reefs.

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Apr 28th, 1:30 PM Apr 28th, 4:00 PM

Holocrinus the First Moving Crinoid or How CO2 Forced a Sea Lily to Walk

Union Wisconsin Room

The Permo-Triassic Extinction was the most devastating mass-extinction event to have ever impacted life on earth. Ninety six percent of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates species went extinct. The extinction was a result of a massive volcanic event the Earth has never seen since. The release of CO2 into the atmosphere is hypothesized to have caused geologically rapid global warming causing marine invertebrates to be unable to develop their skeletons, due to the acidification of the ocean. Of the Phylum Echinodermata, only one genus from the class Crinoidea survived. The Subclass Articulata represents the first crinoid with the ability to mobilize and contain a distinct star structure. This new major shift in morphology and behavior can be seen within modern crinoids. Two crinoid species represent this shift during the Lower Triassic, Moenocrinus and Holocrinus. Based on their structure we suggest that the chaotic times of extinction created new evolutionary pressures. The pressures forced the species to develop radically new methods of survival. In order to correlate the mobility, and morphology change we examined fossils in lab and compared the findings with previous papers, examined the fossil fragments using digital microscopy, and we used hydrochloric acid to dissolve the surround matrix. Lastly, upon reviewing the literature we looked for patterns and trends in post extinction reefs and contrasted them with our findings. We hypothesize that the rapid rising levels of CO2 and acidification of the oceans were the primary biological stressors on the crinoids forcing them to become mobile. We can use this massive shift in one species to extrapolate upon our own current rising CO2 levels and how this could affect modern marine invertebrates and reefs.