Sunday, November 8, 2015

Lily Vorbach
Earth Science, C Block, McClellan
This article is about how scientists have discovered the oldest animal life found yet in Australia, these fossils predate other samples by about 70 million years. This changes the world’s views on the evolution of animal life entirely. The scientists, Adam Maloof and Catherine Rose, went to Australia originally to work on a project that concentrated on the severe ice age ended the Cryogenian period. When they first found the fossils they thought that they were just mud chips embedded in the rock, but the scientists then began to notice that the shapes of the mud chips in the rock repeated. They then realized that they had found some type of living thing and decided to analyze the organism.  Analyzing the fossils found by the scientists was much more difficult than expected. Because early organism fossils are made of calcite rather than bone, x-rays did not work because x-rays make their pictures using densities, so the calcite skeletons did not show up in the pictures because calcite is also in rocks.  The scientists had to figure out another way to evaluate the organism. The scientists ended up at Situ Studio, a Brooklyn-based design and digital fabrication studio; here they created a digital  3-dimesional model of the fossils. After looking at the models, the scientists found that they had discovered the oldest animal ever found.
This discovery is very important to society because it brings the evolution of animals back 70 million years, this is the equivalent of modern times beginning in the late Cretaceous Period. This is a huge breakthrough in the views of the scientific world on evolution, it also brings about new questions for the scientific world, as stated by Adam Maloof ‘“No one was expecting that we would find animals that lived before the ice age, and since animals probably did not evolve twice, we are suddenly confronted with the question of how a relative of these reef-dwelling animals survived the 'snowball Earth.”’. Also, this finding is meaningful because it brought a new method for analyzing sponge-like fossils into play. Without this fossil the scientists Adam Maloof and Catherine Rose would not have created the digital 3-dimesional model software technique that allowed them to view the fossil. The scientists even talk about refining the three-dimensional digital reconstruction technique to increase the efficiency of the process in the future. The article explains “This could have a significant impact on paleontology, Maloof said, enabling the analysis of myriad early fossils that are currently inaccessible to the tools of modern science”.
I thought the article was very well written, it was interesting and included lots of facts and evidence. I would have liked if the article had spoken more about how these fossils would affect the science world and what this finding meant in relation to what we know about evolution now. Also, I felt that in general they could have spoken more about the fossil and what the time period that it lived in was like. Otherwise this article was very good.  


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  2. This is a very interesting current events review that was well written and descriptive. I had never thought about fossils that were from before the ice age and this really got me thinking about where we came from and what was here before us. I was interested in how the fossils were analyzed seeing that they couldn’t use x-rays. I was also intrigued by the fact that these fossils are seventy million years older than any other found and why we haven’t found any that were somewhat close to the age of these found. Your analysis of how this affects the world was very thoughtful and it was interesting how you had two different thoughts on ho how it affects us; the new form of analysis and the new views of evolution.
    Lily, you did a great job making things easy for the reader to comprehend and explained your thoughts very well. This is a very interesting topic, and I feel that your report captured the important parts of the article in your summery. I felt like the part about making a three-dimensional model of the fossil was interesting, but I think you left the reader hanging. You could have improved your report by adding information on how the model was used to predict the age of the fossil. I was also wondering what the scientists were going to do with the fossil. Such as, were they going to put it in a museum or keep it in labs and perform more test on it? It was a very interesting report and I thought it was overall very well written. Nice job Lily!

  3. Lily did a great job summarizing and critiquing her article. One thing I was impressed by was how the scientists were able to conclude that they found some living things, after they realized what they once thought were mud chips were actually not. Through this review I learned that x-rays do not work for everything, as they did not work for the organism fossils that were made of calcite rather than bone (because calcite is also in rocks). Lastly, I learned that these fossils date back before other samples by 70 million years!
    Many things captured my attention throughout this review. I thought it was interesting how the oldest form of animal life was found in Australia. This is because Australia is the smallest of the seven continents. I also found it interesting when she made reference to how Adam Maloof talked about how no one expected to find animals living before the ice ages, because somehow they managed to. Lastly, I agree with Lily, when she talked about how her article included many facts, and a lot of evidence. I was really impressed with how she ended her review, as her opinion of the article is well presented. Another thing I believe is well presented, is when she talks about how the discovery is important to our society. She provides evidence to support her point, which made me realize she really knows what she is talking about. The only suggestion I would make, to produce an even better review would be to elaborate on the quotes she added. She took two great quotes from the article, but instead of explaining what they meant, she just used the quotes to explain what she was talking about. Overall, Lily wrote a great review of her article, and kept the reader eager to read more. Great job!