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The Fossil Record of Vent and Seep Mollusks

  • Steffen Kiel
Chapter
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 33)

Abstract

Mollusks have by far the most extensive and best-investigated fossil record of all organism groups inhabiting hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps. More than 250 bivalve, gastropod, and polyplacophoran species have been reported from ancient vents and seeps, nearly 200 of them from the Cenozoic alone. Members of at least five bivalve families live in symbiosis with sulfur- or methane-oxidizing bacteria, and among the gastropods at least three groups took this path of adaptation. Mollusks are common at vent communities of Mesozoic and Paleozoic age, but appear to be less common in seep communities of this age. It is generally believed that brachiopods were the dominant taxon at Mesozoic and Paleozoic seeps; however, an increasing number of Paleozoic and Mesozoic seep sites with mollusks have been discovered in recent years.

Keywords

Late Cretaceous Fossil Record Late Jurassic Late Eocene Seep Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

I appreciate the constructive criticism of Kazutaka Amano and Sven N. Nielsen on earlier drafts of this chapter.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für GeowissenschaftenChristian-Albrechts-UniversitätKielGermany

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