Cape Hatteras to southern Florida

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They had travelled, to be sure-but they had more likely come from Asbury Park than from Stockholm. In the thrusting and telescoping of the strata, the transition rocks of the American continent’s eastern slope had been deeply buried. In them, almost surely, would be a mixture of cool-water and warm-water conodont types. To the east of the Toiyabe Range, there had been less telescoping, and the full sequence was traceable-from the cool deep continental edge up the slope to the warm far-reaching platform. “The change had nothing to do with moving plates,” Anita concluded. “Nothing to do with plate tectonics. I blew it. It was an environmental change, an environmental sequence.” More recently, working in Alaska, she had seen the sequence again, this time in tightly banded concentration, for the “American” conodonts were from co-working space den haag reefs around Ordovician volcanic islands with steeply plunging sides and the “Scandinavian” conodonts were from cold deeps nearby. Swerving to avoid a pothole, Anita said, “The plate-tectonics boys look at faunal lists and they go hysterical moving continents around. It’s not the paleontologists doing it. It’s mostly the geologists, misusing the paleontology. Think what geologists would make of the present east coast of the United States if they did not understand oceanography and the resulting distribution of modem biota . . Put yourself forty or fifty million years from now trying to reconstruct the east coast of the United States by looking at the remains in the rock. God help you, you would probably have Maine connected to Labrador, and Cape Hatteras to southern Florida. You’d have a piece of Great Britain there, too, because you see the same fauna. Well, did you ever hear of ocean currents? Did you ever hear of the Gulf Stream? The Labrador Curre;it? The Gulf Stream brings fauna north. The Labrador co-working space tilburg Current brings fauna south. I think that a lot of the faunal anomalies you see in the ancient record, and which are explained by invoking plate tectonics, can be explained by ocean currents bringing fauna into places they shouldn’t be. In the early days of plate tectonics, a lot of us, including me, jumped on the bandwagon in order to explain the distribution anomalies we were seeing not only in the eastern Appalachians but in North America as a whole. When we better understood the paleoecologic controls on the animals some of us were working on, there was no reason to invoke plate tectonics.”

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