Tuesday April 30, 2024


Marine plankton, particularly the single-celled organisms known as foraminifera, have populated the oceans for hundreds of millions of years. These microscopic, hard-shelled creatures are more than just tiny specks in the vast ocean; they are fundamental to the marine food chain and serve as a historical archive that helps scientists predict changes in global biodiversity related to our warming climate.

Recently, an extensive study utilizing a high-resolution global dataset of planktonic foraminifera fossils – one of the richest biological archives available – has revealed crucial insights.

Researchers have discovered that major environmental stresses leading to mass extinctions were consistently preceded by subtle changes in the composition of these marine communities. These shifts act as an early warning system for potential future extinctions.

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