Paleontologists and geologists struggle with research questions often complicated by the loss or even absence of key paleobiological and paleoenvironmental information. Insight into this missing data can be gained through direct exploration of analogous living organisms and modern environments. Creative, experimental and interdisciplinary treatments of such ancient-Earth analogs form the basis of Lessons from the Living.
Experimental Approaches to Understanding Fossil Organisms unites a diverse range of expert paleontologists, neontologists and geologists presenting case studies that cover a spectrum of topics, including functional morphology, taphonomy, environments and organism-substrate interactions.
Part I Functional Morphology
1. Crinoids Aweigh: Experimental Biomechanics of Ancyrocrinus Holdfasts
Roy E. Plotnick and Jennifer Bauer
2. Ultra-elongate freshwater pearly mussels (Unionida): Roles for function and constraint in multiple morphologic convergences with marine taxa
Laurie C. Anderson
3. Relationships of Internal Shell Features to Chemosymbiosis, Life Position, and Geometric Constraints within the Lucinidae (Bivalvia)
Laurie C. Anderson
4. Modern Analogs for the Study of Eurypterid Paleobiology
Danita S. Brandt and Victoria McCoy
5. New Applications for Constrained Ordination: Reconstructing Feeding Behaviors in Fossil Remingtonocetinae (Cetacea: Mammalia)
Lisa Noelle Cooper, Tobin L. Hieronymus, Christopher J. Vinyard, Sunil Bajpai, and J.G.M. Thewissen
Part II Taphonomy and Environment
6. Patterns in Microbialites Throughout Geologic Time: Is the Present Really the Key to the Past?
Kristen L. Myshrall, Christophe Dupraz, Pieter T. Visscher
7 The Relationship Between Modern Mollusk Assemblages and their Expression in Subsurface Sediment in a Carbonate Lagoon, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Karla Parsons-Hubbard, Dennis Hubbard, Caitlin Tems, and Ashley Burkett
8. Biotic Segregation In An Upper Mesotidal Dissipative Ridge And Runnel Succession, West Salish Sea, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
John-Paul Zonneveld, Murray K. Gingras, Cheryl A. Hodgson, Luke P. McHugh, Reed A. Myers, Jesse A. Schoengut, and Bryce Wetthuhn
9. Using X-ray Radiography to Observe Fe distributions in Bioturbated Sediment
Murray K. Gingras, John-Paul Zonneveld, and Kurt O. Konhauser
10. Phytoliths as Tracers of Recent Environmental Change
Ethan G. Hyland
Part III Organism-Substrate Interaction
11. Large Complex Burrows of Terrestrial Invertebrates: Neoichnology of Pandinus imperator (Scorpiones: Scorpionidae)
Daniel I. Hembree
12. Biomechanical Analysis of Fish Swimming Trace Fossils (Undichna): Preservation and Mode of Locomotion
María Cristina Cardonattoand Ricardo Néstor Melchor
13. The Neoichnology of Two Terrestrial Ambystomatid Salamanders: Quantifying Amphibian Burrows Using Modern Analogues
Nicole D. Dzenowski and Daniel I. Hembree
14. Biogenic Structures of Burrowing Skinks: Neoichnology of Mabuya multifaciata (Squamata: Scincidae)
Angeline Catena and Daniel I. Hembree
15. Novel Neoichnology of Elephants: Nonlocomotive Interactions with Sediment, Locomotion Traces in Partially Snow-Covered Sediment, and Implications for Proboscidean Paleoichnology
Brian F. Platt and Stephen T. Hasiotis
16. Burrows and Related Traces in Snow and Vegetation Produced by the Norwegian Lemming (Lemmuslemmus)
17. Near-Surface Imaging (GPR) of Biogenic Structures in Siliciclastic, Carbonate, and Gypsum Dunes
Ilya V. Buynevich, H. Allen Curran, Logan A. Wiest, Andrew P.K. Bentley, Sergey V. Kadurin, Christopher T. Seminack, Michael Savarese, David Bustos, Bosiljka Glumac, and Igor A.Losev
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Daniel I. Hembree, Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio University; PhD University of Kansas 2005. Brian F. Platt, Assistant Professor, Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of Mississippi; PhD University of Kansas 2012. Jon J. Smith, Assistant Scientist, Stratigraphic Research Group, Kansas Geological Survey; PhD University of Kansas 2007.