CMU-led research team discovers Middle Cambrian species in Antarctica

Acorn Worm

Acorn Worm

A group of researchers led by Central Michigan University biology professor Andrew Mahon discovered a species of Marine invertebrate fossils in Antarctic waters

This discovery is unique because of the shallow depths the species was discovered.

On the continental shelf at only 500 meters, this is the lowest depth of a find of species like this.

The species, known as Acorn Worms, link back to the Middle Cambrian era more than 500 million years ago.

Mahon says discoveries like this are likely to get more rare as global warming heats up the planet

“By finding this it tells us just how little we really know about what’s in the ocean and what’s in Antarctic waters.” Mahon said “We’re dealing with an area that, thanks to global climate change, there’s some of the most rapidly warming areas in the world where we’re looking for animals. As temperatures go up we’re going to start to loose species.”

The team will return for another trip November 18.

This research is funded by a grant from the National Science foundation.

The half-a-million dollar grant will run out in about a year and a half, but Mahon hopes he can secure additional funding so research can continue.

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