Jurassic Corals Discovered By Scientists In U.S.

First Posted: Oct 02, 2015 12:03 PM EDT

Early Jurassic corals have been discovered in North American region, GSA researchers revealed in a news release. 

Montana Hodges and George Stanley Jr. of the University of Montana Paleontology Center are working on a coral recovery report that will be published in the October issue of GSA Today. In their research, Hodges and Stanley investigated Jurassic corals in a continuous depositional section of the Gabbs and Sunrise Formations, near New York Canyon in west-central Nevada. 

Early Jurassic corals are quite scarce in North American and this new research is essential for scientists to explore what the Jurassic era must have been like, along with the factors that may have led to its extensive extinction. In addition, the newly found Jurassic corrals may assist researchers in understanding factors related to changes that take place in the Jurassic era, along with gaining extra insight as to what happened regarding extinction during the Jurassic phase. 

Hodges and Stanley worked on the coral recovery that took place after the Triassic-Jurassic extinction and have now assembled an outline on some of the earliest U.S. evidence and samples of Jurassic corals, which are also said to be some of the earliest corals in the continent of North America. 

The Jurassic corals will be compared to other samples that were recovered earlier from other locations. The New York Canyon site may be the earliest North American Jurassic example, researchers announced. An analysis of the corals covers a disregarded yet essential aspect of the Triassic-Jurassic recovery phase in North America that also facilitates an earlier opening of the Hispanic Corridor, according to Hodges and Stanley. 

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