Land snail shells help to reconstruct quantitative temperature

Land snail shells help to reconstruct quantitative temperature
Credit: DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2021.110530

Quantitatively reconstructing temperature changes is vital to understand the history and law of the Earth's climate system.

Land snails are widely distributed, and the clumped isotope (Δ47) in their shell carbonates can serve as a proxy for temperature in terrestrial environments. However, it is unclear whether the Δ47 values of snail shells are affected by known as "vital effects."

Researchers from the Institute of Earth Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Caltech cultured at different well-controlled temperatures. They collected snail shells from different species at different growth age, and reported their Δ47 values.

This was published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

The researchers found that there were no significant differences in the Δ47 values of different species, indicating no influences of species. The good correlation between snail 's Δ47 and their growth temperature suggested its potential for temperature reconstruction.

When applied the previously established Δ47-temperature transfer function, the mean reconstructed temperature is ~6 °C higher than snail culturing temperatures. This indicated the existence of the vital effect in land snail shells.

Furthermore, the researchers found that this effect could be corrected by establishing a new Δ47-temperature transfer function.

The study provided a valuable dataset for building Δ47-temperature transfer function for land snails and it also served as a good foundation for past study using fossil snail shells in the near future.

Explore further

99-million-year-old snail fossilized in amber while giving birth

More information: Jibao Dong et al, Clumped isotopic compositions of cultured and natural land-snail shells and their implications, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2021.110530
Citation: Land snail shells help to reconstruct quantitative temperature (2021, September 10) retrieved 20 October 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors