Darwin-L Message Log 6:44 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<6:44>From mahaffy@dordt.edu  Wed Feb  9 22:52:33 1994

Subject: Re: Conodonts
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 22:55:45 -0600 (CST)
From: James Mahaffy <mahaffy@dordt.edu>

David Restrepo writes:

> I am just begin to research in a project about Conodonts. We want to
> research in the conodont animals that lived in Colombia during the Upper
> Paleozoic.
> One of my dreams is to study the biomechanics of the conodont elements,
> (Maybe the insertions and strength of their muscles).
> It would be very important to me, to know your opinion and if you know any
> reliable method and can help me to find it, I will appreciate your help.

I think the problem is bigger than you think.  If I remember right and I
do consider conodonts every other year when I teach paleontology,
conodonts are not creatures that we know a lot about as biological
enities.  The fossils and assembladges are common and well studied, but
whom they belonged to and exactly what part of the critter they were is
an open question.  I think there are a couple good possibilities of
conodont animal, but what you see as fossils is very little of the
creature (?part around its mouth - one idea).  It is most likely that
they were soft bodied creatures and the conodont elements just a little
part of the chaps.  I don't think you will even find good muscle
attachments on them but now you are getting into technical details that
are out of my area.

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy@dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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