Plenary - Kate Trinajstic - Exceptional Preservation of organs and musculature is early vertebrates from the Gogo Formation Konservat-Lagerstätte.
Please join us for this Plenary talk by Kate Trinajstic at the State Library Theatre.
Abstract. The sediments of the Gogo Formation, represent the basinal deposits of a Late Devonian reef complex that today crops out across the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It has long been recognized for the diversity of the fauna and the exquisite 3D preservation of the fossils, but only recently has the preservation of the soft anatomy been realized. The use of synchrotron and neutron micro tomography has revealed the extensive regions of the musculature in placoderms, the earliest jawed fishes resulting in a reinterpretation of how the neck and abdominal muscles were organized in these fishes (Trinajstic et al 2013). The internal organs, comprising eyes, heart, stomach, liver and guts has provided the first direct evidence that the earliest jawed vertebrates conformed to the extant vertebrate body bauplan (Trinajstic et al 2022). In addition, the absence of lungs indicates that like sharks, placoderms used their large livers for buoyancy and that lungs originated in Osteichthyes. The earlier discovery of an embryo, complete with an umbilical cord, provided the earliest evidence of viviparity in the fossil record (Long et al 2008) and together these discoveries have greatly furthered the understanding of early vertebrate anatomy and lifehistory.
Bio. John Curtin Distinguished Professor Kate Trinajstic has been working as a palaeontologist in Western Australia for the last 23 years having graduated with a PhD from UWA, where she continued as a post-doctoral fellow until moving to Curtin University in 2009 as a Curtin Research Fellow. She was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist (2010) one of the prestigious Prime Minister's Prizes for Science for her work using synchrotron and micro CT to investigate and interpret soft tissues preserved in fossil fish. In 2011 she was awarded a QEII Fellowships from the ARC to continue work on soft tissue preservation within the Gogo fishes. With colleagues she discovered fossil embryos and presented the earliest evidence of live birth within jawed vertebrates and has led research on soft tissue anatomy of the Gogo fishes
The talk will be 45-50 minutes long followed by questions.