Big Picture Science – Shell on Earth

by Gary Niederhoff on March 12, 2018

Big Picture Science – Shell on Earth

We all may retreat to our protective shells, but evolution has perfected the calcite variety to give some critters permanent defense against predators. So why did squids and octopuses lose their shells? Find out what these cephalopods gained by giving up the shell game.

Plus why Chesapeake Bay oyster shells are shells of their former selves. What explains the absence of the dinner-plate sized oysters of 500,000 years ago, and how conservation paleobiology is probing deep time for strategies to bring back these monster mollusks.

Also, was the Earth once encased in a giant, continental shell? A new theory of plate tectonics. Land ho!

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Rowan Lockwood / Oyster Paleobiology
Part 2: Al Tanner / Naked Cephalopods
Part 3: Mike Brown / Earth’s Shell

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Richard April 9, 2018 at 1:19 am

The old oyster reefs from tens of thousands of years ago were deposited when ocean levels were much higher. Does this not tell us that ocean levels go up and down and hence maybe our present times are not all that unusual in Earth’s climatic cycles?

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