Research

January 13, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Stigall Contributes to Comprehensive Review of African Fossil Crustacean

Dr. Alycia Stigall, portrait

Dr. Alycia Stigall

Dr. Alycia Stigall, Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio University, recently published “The Devonian-Cretaceous fossil record of ‘conchostracans’ of Africa and their paleobiogeographic relationships with other Gondwanan faunas” in Journal of African Earth Sciences with an international team of collaborators.

Conchostracans, or clam shrimp, are crustaceans that live in shallow, ephemeral lakes. Stigall is a leading authority on the fossil record of these animals.

“Fossil clam shrimp are important environmental and temporal indicators in terrestrial habitats,” Stigall notes.

The study developed the first comprehensive catalog of the occurrences of fossil clam shrimp for African and the former Gondwanan continents (South America, Australia, Antarctica, and India). In this work, Stigall and the team provide a detailed examination of fossil clam shrimp in Africa for the interval from 420 to 65 million years ago.

Using this database, the authors were able to identify and describe evolutionary patterns within African clam shrimp. They also intervals and pathways of faunal connection between Africa and other continents.

Stigall notes that these analyses are only the beginning of the insights that can be provided by this dataset. “I am so pleased to be part of the team on this project.  The database and comprehensive catalog in this article will be of great use for future studies on clam shrimp,” she added.

an image of the world with arrows indicating dispersal pathways

Dispersal pathways used by African clam shrimp to colonize other continents. From Gallego et al. (2020)

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