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Palaeoceanographer needs advice on tube worm fossils

James Bendle j.a.bendle at durham.ac.uk
Tue May 7 15:00:46 EST 2002

Dear Annelid experts,

I am an paleoceanographer seeking advice regarding 4 tube worm fossil 
samples collected from Holocene (<10kyr old) sediments on the Icelandic 
shelf (about 200 m water depth).  

Firstly, I am seeking help in identifying the specimens. Would anyone 
recommend a text book which could aid me or if anyone has the time or 
inclination and would like to have a go themselves - I have attached some 
stills of the samples.  

Secondly, I'm seeking advice on a couple of specific issues regarding the life 
modes of the specimens. I wish to use the calcium carbonate tubes for 
radiocarbon dating. However the dating facility I am working with has not 
used tube worms for this purpose previously and therefore there are several 
criteria that need to satisfied before we can date them with confidence.  

The concerns are:

- The mechanism by which the organism constructs the tube i.e. does the 
organism precipitate the carbonate itself? (vital for our needs)or does it 
collect carbonate detritus from it's environs an stick it together with a 
biological glue (an aggultinated form)?  

- Does the organism dwell at the sediment surface (preferable) or at depth?  

If anyone can help with the above questions it would be much appreciated.  


James Bendle

<j.a.bendle at durham.ac.uk>

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