Cold-Seep Mollusks Are Older Than the General Marine Mollusk Fauna

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Science  08 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5792, pp. 1429-1431
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126286

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The origin and possible antiquity of faunas at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and seeps have been debated since their discovery. We used the fossil record of seep mollusks to show that the living seep genera have significantly longer geologic ranges than the marine mollusks in general, but have ranges similar to those of deep-sea taxa, suggesting that seep faunas may be shaped by the factors that drive the evolution of life in the deep sea in general. Our data indicate that deep-sea anoxic/dysoxic events did not affect seep faunas, casting doubt on the suggested anoxic nature and/or global extent of these events.

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