Total Pageviews

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bioturbation: The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out

       Bioturbation is the reworking of soils and sediments by animals (including worms, snakes, trilobites, and crustaceans) or plant roots. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out in these churned, turned over and under soils: check out this bioturbation video and watch the burrowing worms in action.


         These ancient dirt churners were recently determined to have taken much longer to bioturbate than originally thought, by millions of years.





       "For years, scientists thought bioturbation commenced in earnest with the Cambrian Explosion, 541 million years ago, when the complexity and diversity of animal species began to expand dramatically."

        "But that wasn’t the case. In a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, researchers found that major bioturbation did not occur until at least 120 million years later, during the late Silurian Period."



      Dr. Lidya Tarhan and researchers at Yale University propose that "Delayed bioturbation may have been responsible for regulating marine sulfate and atmospheric oxygen levels. A previously proposed drop in surface oxygen levels may be tied to the onset of extensive bioturbation, given that “oxygen is directly tied to the burial of organic carbon,” Tarhan said. “Less burial of organic carbon, due to bioturbation, means that more oxygen is used to respire or burn through that carbon, and thus oxygen decreases.”"



      Thank heavens for worms and other bioturbators!

     And of course, there's evidence of mass bioturbation (wait for it. . .):




As the Worm Turns,
Steph

       I am not especially fond of the color pink, but I do like these kindergartners' style for our "NOVEMBER is CHEMISTRY MONTH" experiment with Chromatography and ROY G BIV.




53 comments:

  1. I had forgotten that this was the subject of Darwin's last book (The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, 1881).

    Global climate change through the actions of various organisms is certainly nothing new!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We could celebrate with vermicelli pasta! I went down that worm hole only to find vermicelli is thicker than spaghetti in Italy but thinner than spaghetti in the US. Why?!

      Delete
    2. Don't know. Maybe you could look it up in the vermiform appendix. (It's just off the large intestine, which apparently can be served with vermicelli.)

      Delete
    3. Is one vermicelli a vermicello? Whatever, vermicelli, or anything almost, is tastier than a Diet of Worms!

      LegoPerhapsViolinTeddyCanHelpUsWithThatVermicelli/VermicelloQuestion

      Delete
    4. Perhaps this discussion should be expanded to include wormholes and string theory?

      Delete
    5. Or perhaps Enrico Fermi played a stringed instrument, the Fermicello?

      Wormholes, string theory--go for it. Burrow away!

      Delete
    6. Ha! I'd not gotten the mem(o)brand, Paul.

      Delete
  2. I am back from Arches, which was spectacular, but I could have stayed several more days in the area. Having only about 11 hours of daylight didn't help, although we did have the full moon one night. I did get some Cryptobiotic Soil Crust pictures, which I will share with you later. (My wife took then camera with her to upload all the photos.)

    Our first day, we took the loop with the Primitive Trail, and the second day we went to Canyonlands. On the third day back to Arches for the Fiery Furnace ranger led tour (it turns out a good friend of the ranger is an acquaintance of ours), Delicate Arch (before then, the road to Delicate Arch was closed due to deep, flood caused mud) and a couple other hikes. We went to Deadhorse State Park our last day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking forward to your photos. Sounds like some great adventures and pretty nice weather, to boot (except for the mud).

      Delete
  3. In case you're still thinking of an Iceland field trip.

    (Not sure whether this makes me more or less interested in going.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Replies
    1. Another newswormy story.

      I may have mentioned previously that I did my Master's paper on parasitic infections in the U.S. from consumption of raw fish. Most cases are, as you'd expect, from sushi or ceviche. But I was surprised by the fishermen who get bored enough to eat their bait.

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Rock paper.
      Metal glass.

      I can't imagine what's next.
      I've tried.

      Delete
    2. Call me when they've got transparent gold, so I can go to Fort Knox and steal me a mess o' ingots undetectedly.

      LegoWhoIsAllInFavorOfTransparencyInMetalurgy

      Delete
    3. I never Meta Clergy I didn't like. . .(well, actually, I have.)

      Delete
  6. I added two images above from our ROY G BIV experiment in chromatography on Friday. November, of course, is Chemistry Month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When it comes to remembering the rainbow, I always leave it to Roy G. Biver.

      LegoAlso:WhiteAmberRedDodger-blue,JadeUmberNavy-blueEcru,WisteriaAzureLavenderLilacYellow...

      Delete
  7. WARD, JUNE, WALLY: clever and colorful, Lime, Ecru, Green, Orange, Lavender, Amber, Mauve, Blue, Denim, Azure. . .

    ReplyDelete
  8. Uh-oh, 2 dozen new cases of Dengue Fever in Hawai'i now. . .

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am gathering books to ship to the town of Shende, Ethiopia, near Lake Tana, where my daughter is serving in the Peace Corps. If you had but one book to send to the community of emerging readers, what would it be? My daughter's students, 3 classes of 65 each, are 9th graders learning English as their second language. Amharic is their native tongue.

    Since it is very expensive to ship there, I want to gather books that will, hopefully, be well-loved. They are currently reading at about E.B.White's "Charlotte's Web" level.

    The kindergartners I teach on Fridays and their families are helping. Their 5-year-old jaws dropped when they heard the community's whole, brand new library had only 30 books.

    Thanks, in advance, for your recommendations.

    Steph

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I downloaded an English Kindle version of The Conference of the Birds a while back, for some reason; read some of it, figured I'd gotten the gist of it, and more or less forgot about it until now. It's just a suggestion; use your judgment.
      I think someone over at Blainesville recommended O. Henry. I picked up The Complete Works of O. Henry at a yard sale a few decades ago for a dime. Best ten cents I ever spent.
      I was only in about sixth grade when I had some minor surgery that today would probably be in-and out, but "back in the day" was a several day ordeal. I was lavished with plenty of boredom-relievers. Someone gave me a book of Poe's short stories. Imagine the effect of reading The Premature Burial on the brain of a youngster about to encounter his first general anesthesia. Fortunately, I was also plied with plenty of puzzle books. It's all good!
      Hope that helps.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Paul!

      The internet connection is quite spotty to non-existent in this part of Amhara Province, 150 km southwest of Lake Tana. Otherwise, I'd work on getting some Kindles or tablets or laptops. Hard copies seem best for now.

      The Premature Burial does seem like a very odd choice for a kid undergoing the knife. Glad you persevered! "Poe, Poe, Poe, pitiful you. . ."

      Delete
  10. Dear Word Woman. I'm posting here in regards to your book request. I've many recommendations! One book is a tough order. Honestly though, you can't go wrong with Harry Potter/Rowling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, she tried that and the kids were freaked out by the magic. I'm happy to take more suggestions; I just really wanted folks to think about a short list since we are limited by shipping funds. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. I also loved reading:
      Holes/Sachar
      Because of Winn Dixie/Kate DiCamillo
      The Count of Monte Cristo/Dumas
      Shane/Shaefer
      The Princess Bride/Goldman
      Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children/Riggs
      The Tale of Despereaux/DiCamillo

      Delete
    3. Thanks, clothelover! I also really enjoyed "Holes."

      Delete
  11. Just finished " City of Ember," recommended by 3 Colorado teens. Great story.

    Krimson Rogue's " The book was better " is a fun comparison of the book and the movie. And I think his name rocks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Once and Future King" T.H.White, "Where the Wild Things Are" Maurice Sendak. Please let me know what you need, as I have an awesome "Used Bookstore Co-Op" that I belong to, and would be happy to shop and buy the titles you need! I also have donated extensively to my local library, and could ask the librarian for suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wordnerd. I appreciate that. The trickiest part may well be the shipping. My latest package to Shende, Ethiopia, was 11 pounds and $86. . .

      I am going to check with other carriers besides USPS to see if they might ship things more economically.

      I will let you know more as I do. It might make sense for you to ship your finds directly rather than here to CO and then to Ethiopia.

      Delete
    2. Amazon says they have free shipping internationally but when you wade through everything it is to only 2 other countries, not Ethiopia.

      The best I found so far for a 5 kilogram (11 pound) package is $62 via Parcel Monkey International. If you find a better deal, please let us all know.

      The address for books to Shende (Wikipedia says Shende, but Ethiopians write Shinde) is:

      SHINDE LIBRARY
      Shinde PO box 46
      West Gojam, Womberma
      Amhara, ETHIOPIA

      Thank you, in advance, for your kindness to the people of Shinde! If they receive multiple copies of a much-loved book, huzzah!

      Steph (aka Word Woman)

      Delete
  13. WW: Another place to search is lexile.com. Lexile rates books based on reading level. You can search based on level (Charlotte's Web = 680), and then choose fiction, or other categories.

    Public libraries here are often getting rid of old books, Berkeley had a controversial notion to toss books that hadn't been checked out in 2 or 3 years (so much for repositories of information). Maybe your library can donate old or worn copies?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the reference to lexile.com, eco. That's a great resource and will help me a great deal in book choices.

      Yes, the libraries "weed" or "cull" but they tend to get rid of books which are not well-loved. I want to make every nickel count due to the shipping expense (see my post to wordnerd above). But, I could certainly cull their cullings!

      I have been combing every Little Free Library in a 2-mile radius of my home on my walks. Some really good stuff there! And a fun way to meet new neighbors who also love to read. . .Some have even joined our project to ship books to Shende!

      Delete
  14. New post on "Coal 'Miner's' Canyon: Pancake Geology Surprise near Tuba City, Arizona" is now up.

    Happy Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete