[Coral-List] the rudist molluscs

Charles Birkeland charlesb at hawaii.edu
Sun Jun 14 02:09:01 EDT 2015

Half a century ago, we tried to explain nearly all ecological patterns by
competition. The hippuritacean bivalves were considered the rudist molluscs
because they were thought to have butted in on scleractinian corals in the
Cretaceous Period. This judgement is rudeness on our part. We should
consider the rudist bivalves to be actually the most gracious bivalves
because they provided massive three-dimensional limestone substrata that
allowed scleractinians to continue to increase in diversity in calcite seas
while the aragonitic reefs of the scleractinians deteriorated (Stanley SM,
Hardie LA (1998) Secular oscillations in the carbonate mineralogy of
reef-building and sediment-producing organisms driven by tectonically
forced shifts in seawater chemistry. Palaeogeogr, Palaeoclimatol,
Palaeoecol 144: 3-19).


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