MART analysis

Annual range of temperature

Annual range of temperature estimated from zooid size variation in Pliocene bryozoans from localities across the North Atlantic, compared with the present-day (recent) temperature seasonality

Principal Investigator

Dr Paul Taylor

Project summary

  • Focus: Applying a Mean Annual Range of Temperature (MART) analysis to address palaeoclimatic issues

Cheilostome bryozoans offer a powerful method for estimating temperature seasonality in the past. Museum scientists are applying this analysis to address a range of palaeoclimatic issues.

Cheilostome bryozoans are good indicators of temperature seasonality because the size of individual zooids within colonies is dependent on the ambient temperature at the time of their formation, and therefore:

  • colonies showing a low variance in zooid size indicate low levels of seasonality
  • colonies with a high variance indicate high levels of seasonality

We are applying this MART (Mean Annual Range of Temperature) analysis to address palaeoclimatic issues in, for example:

  • the Pliocene of the North Atlantic
  • the Pliocene of the Antarctic Peninsula

Origins, evolution and futures

We study the Earth's origins and environment, and the evolution of life.

Invertebrate and plant palaeobiology research

We are investigating the origins and evolution of these diverse fossil groups.

Fossil bryozoan collection

The Museum holds the best collection of fossil bryozoans in the world, with over 5,000 type and figured specimens.