Chapter 24 Late Ordovician zooplankton maps and the climate of the Early Palaeozoic Icehouse
Datasets usually provide raw data for analysis. This raw data often comes in spreadsheet form, but can be any collection of data, on which analysis can be performed.
Chitinozoans and graptolites are the main components of preserved Ordovician zooplankton. As with much of the modern plankton, the ‘first-order’ species distributions of Ordovician plankton reflect water masses defined on the basis of sea surface temperatures. For ‘time slices’ of less than a few million years, zooplankton distribution patterns can be used to infer latitudinal sea surface temperature gradients, key palaeoceanographical boundaries and the position of Ordovician climate belts. Here, using two Late Ordovician time intervals – the early Sandbian and Hirnantian – we review how zooplankton distribution patterns identify Late Ordovician cooling and reflect the development of severe icehouse conditions.