Paleonet: Info about vendobiont Armillifera parva
e_bonino at yahoo.it
Thu Dec 20 11:10:13 GMT 2007
I'm searching information and a graphic reconstruction about the vendobiont Armillifera parva from the precambrian White Sea lagerstätten fauna.
( it resemble like this: http://www.keyobs.be/fr/ebonino/html/white_sea3.html#Armillifera%20parva ).
The only reference where the specimen is described is available in this paper:
Fendonkin (1980) - New Precambrian Coelenterata in the north of the Russian Platform. Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal v.(2) pp 7-15
Unfortunately this journal it is not available in our local library.
There is someone that posses the digital version of this paper?
Taking advantage of this email I send at all the paleo-community my Best wishes of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Enrico Bonino Dr.
GIS Specialist - Geologist
4, rue des Chasseurs Ardennais
4031 Angleur - LIEGE (Belgium)
tel. +32 04 3846315
fax +32 04 3846215
----- Messaggio originale -----
Da: Lukas Hottinger <lukas.hottinger at unibas.ch>
A: paleonet at nhm.ac.uk
Inviato: Lunedì 26 novembre 2007, 18:13:53
Oggetto: Paleonet: Treatise Invertebrate Paleontology
Open letter to Paul Selden about the Treatise of Invertebrate
I have taught paleontology from vertebrates to unicellulars as a
one-man-job at the University of Basel from 1968 to 1998. The Treatise
of Invertebrate Paleontology was absolutely fundamental for this task,
in particular the general introductory chapters, but also the
systematic parts were useful to get an idea about the richness of taxa
with their different morphologies in the different groups. I am
immensely grateful to the authors and the organizing staff of the
Treatise to have had during all those years a reliable source of basic
information on which to base my invertebrate courses with a half-life
of about five years. Of course I have used also Pivetau's French
de Paléontologie, in particular for vertebrates, and on occasion
Orlov's Treatise in Russian but both remarquable works have not been
updated since their first appearance. A number of volumes of the French
Traité de Zoologie edited by Grassé contains most useful information
the biology of vertebrates and invertebrates that are indispensable for
explaining functional aspects of the morphology of fossils. This latter
aspect is insufficiently taken into account in the Treatise. However,
the Treatise has produced the best overview available on fossil
invertebrates and therefore has provided the American leadership,
sofar, for this section of paleontology.
In research, the Treatise plays another role that is not so positive.
Here, the updating is of prime importance to keep up with the
devolpment of the general biology of the groups concerned and in
particular of the taxonomic system from the generic to all higher
levels. In my personal field of research, the benthic foraminifera, the
number of valid genera has doubled within one generation, when
comparing the Treatise C/2 Protista of 1964 with its successor 1987 by
the same authors Loeblich & Tappan. In the late seventies I visited
Curt Teichert in Lawrence to discuss an update of the 1964 volume but
to my regret, this update appeared as separate publication without an
updated general introductory part corresponding to Treatise standarts.
However, in my research work the updated taxonomic volumes of Loeblich
and Tappan 1987 are used daily. This may illustrate the necessity to
have an instrument at hand that provides rapid and reliable information
on the taxonomy of the groups we work with, even in a field where there
is a (however uncritical) Catalogue of genera and species available.
Today, I do not see anyone in the world to carry through an endeavor of
the kind that Loeblich and Tappan had realized in 1987. They had told
me their progress in work to be one genus per day and that means over
2000 work days, i.e. about 7 years to produce the update. Take another
three years to accomplish editing and printing a memoir of this size,
it would mean that we have to foresee at least a decade for an update
of a Treatise volume. This is definitly too slow for research and
industrial needs in a time where taxonomic specialists are dying out
and the demands for identification of organisms increase drastically in
environmental sciences and in organismic biology.
In my view, this has the following consequences:
1. Separate an autoritative general part on a group of fossils from the
corresponding taxonomic part.
2. The general part should explain the morphology of the fossilized
hard parts of the organisms involved, their comparative anatomy
including the concepts of the morphological terminology, a glossary of
the terms with critical comments, functional aspects of the morphology
of the hard parts based on the biology of living representatives of the
group or analogue living organisms and apects of their ecology,
biogeography and phylogeny that include general observations on the
species level. Let us not forget that ecology operates with populations
and communities, categories of life on the species level.
3. The taxonomic part, from the generic to all higher taxonomic levels,
should include at the generic level remarks on the species and
references to autoritative monographs. Genera may be monospecific or
contain a high number of species and are thus not equivalent. This is
important to remember when Treatise data on the taxonomic system are
counted in quantitative analyses.
4. In many Treatise volumes, the diagnoses of the genera are either
insufficiently discernible or incomprehensisble. In my personal
experience, this was the case in particular in the Ammonite volume of
Arkell but also in the volumes on Forams by Loeblich and Tappan. The
diagnoses of genera and subfamilies or higher units should not
contradict each other and reflect clearly the hierarchy within the
group concerned. The diagnoses demand a consistant use of morphological
5. On the illustrations of the genera, the diagnostic elements of the
morphology should be pointed out and labeled. This is imperative on
The question arizes whether the publication of future Treatise elements
in print on paper would be adequate in the present situation or in
future. The continuation of the long tradition editing the blue volumes
would support their autoriative weight and might enhance the chances of
continued funding. A separation of general and taxonomic parts would
permit to accelerate an independant updating of the earlier volumes
without waiting for an endless struggel for a revised taxonomy. Keeping
in mind however the needs of a taxonomically correct paleontology based
on biological understanding applied to stratigraphy for calibrating
geochemical curves, for paleoecology and paleobiogeography, and
considering the need of traditional, basic dating of so many
sedimentary sequences in the developing countries, as well as their
educational needs, I plead for a change to electronic means for
disseminating more rapidly significant new paleontological information.
Should the future, let's say the next decade, reveal the impossibility
to store the electronic information for several centuries (as do indeed
widely distributed books), we can always print out this information on
paper before it would be lost.
The advantages of electronic publication are among others the
following: Low costs and speedy release of the publication, the
possibility for corrections and partial updates, the use of colours,
the possibility to enlarge the illustrations on the screen to see more
details, the use of movable elements in the illustration or hyperlinks
to references, alphabetic lists and illustrations. In this respect see
also Jere Lipps' editorial in Paleontologia Electronica 2007-1.
Today, the prestige of the electronic publication is still low but will
rise when we use more often the new possibilities for significant
publications of first class quality. In addition a common effort of our
scientific community will be necessary to exert a strong pressure on
funding organisms and evaluation corporations to revise their
evaluation practice by taking into account, beyond the citation index,
the number of years during which a scientific product is cited and,
beyond the established scientific journals, all other means of
scientific communication, in particular monographs and electronic
Keeping in mind the current difficulties in funding our scientific
activities and the vanishing prestige of taxonomic work that reduces
drastically the number of professionals available for tasks such as the
Treatise, a division of labor seems imperative. Software as the one
used for Wikipedia, but under conditions of editorial and peer review,
would in my view facilitate the acquisition of contributions to a new
electronic form of an autoritative Treatise that may keep up with
progress in modern times in a more adequate way.
Kind regards, Lukas Hottinger (Basel)
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