Contact: Andrea Gibson
New Ohio University research suggests that the rise of an early phase of the Appalachian Mountains and cooling oceans allowed invasive species to upset the North American ecosystem 450 million years ago.
The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, took a closer look at a dramatic ecological shift captured in the fossil record during the Ordovician period. Ohio University scientists argue that major geological developments triggered evolutionary changes in the ancient seas, which were dominated by organisms such as brachiopods, corals, trilobites and crinoids.
This image shows one of the brachiopods under study, Glyptorthis.
Credit: David Wright
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Related news release: Rising mountains, cooling oceans prompted spread of invasive species 450 million years ago