New polychaete tubeworm fauna from the Jurassic of Israel

September 21st, 2010

Vermiliopsis negevensis Vinn and Wilson 2010

WOOSTER, OHIO–That may not be the most exciting title I could choose, but it was a fun project nonetheless. My Estonian colleague Olev Vinn and I have a paper in the latest issue of  Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen describing an assemblage of sabellid and polychaete tubeworms from the Middle Jurassic (Callovian) of the Negev in southern Israel. This tubeworm fauna is the first described from equatorial waters in the Jurassic, and there is none like it in the modern world. Our work here is part of a larger project to understand the evolution of tube-dwelling invertebrates.

Introducing a new species to the world through the paleontological literature is a privilege and pleasure. Inconsequential it may be in a larger frame, but a fragment of nature has been brought to the light for the first time since it left the stage millions of years ago. What we know about life has been increased a tiny bit, and there is a new creature to enjoy.

Diagram of Vermiliopsis negevensis, a new serpulid species from the Jurassic of Israel.

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