New Volume of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology Published

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Paleontological Institute announces the publication of a new volume of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology: Part E (Revised) volumes 4 and 5 covers the hypercalcified sponges (i.e., stromatoporoids, chaetetids, and their allies) in a large, two-volume work. 

This is the first new hard-copy volume that the Paleontological Institute has produced since moving to first publication in Treatise Online a few years ago. All chapters of the work were published first online, and then late revised for this up to date treatment of a group of major reef-forming fossils. Though barely known as living animals, the hypercalcified sponges are an important group in the fossil record. They have variously been classified with corals, sponges, algae, and a variety of animal and plant crops, before relatively recently being show to be true sponges (Porifera). Unlike most sponges, though, whose skeletons are largely organic with or without microscopic spicules of calcite or silica, the hypercalcified sponges build a massive calcium carbonate framework. They have strange geological history, being important in the Paleozoic, then disappearing from the fossil record until well into the Mesozoic era. Moreover, the group covers a diverse array of forms, not all necessarily closely related: stromatoporoids, chaetetids, inozoans, demosponges, sphinctozoans, archaeocyaths, radiocyaths and cribricyaths. Recognition of hypercalcified sponges in the fossil record will aid paleontologists, paleoecologists, biostratigraphers, sedimentologists, and exploration geologists on their work, and this volume will remain the major source of reference for this group for years to come.

The work brings together the world’s experts on the group, with authors from France, the UK, Australia, Estonia, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Russia and the USA (Utah, Connecticut, Alabama and Kansas), under the co-ordinating authorship of Dr Barry Webby of Sydney, Australia. There are 1276 pages and 665 illustrations in this 2-volume work, which is available from the Paleontological Institute.

News Type: 
Research News