Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

The role of Archaeocyatha in Cambrian biostratigraphy and biogeography

A. Kerner
A. Kerner
CR2P, UMR 7207 CNRS-MNHN-UPMC, Département Histoire de la Terre, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Bâtiment de Géologie, CP48, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France
Search for other works by this author on:
F. Debrenne
F. Debrenne
13 Rue du Long Foin, 91700 Sainte Geneviève des bois, France
Search for other works by this author on:
January 01, 2013


The Archaeocyatha is a group of Cambrian fossils successively considered as cnidarians or sponges or as an independent phylum convergent with many groups lacking clear affinities. Comparisons with Recent calcified sponges discovered in submarine caves have demonstrated that the sponge model is consistent with their structural organization. Thus their systematic position is now agreed as a class within the phylum Porifera, permitting realistic investigations of their comparative physiology and life strategies. Archaeocyatha is an important part of research programmes on the Cambrian System, initiated by different commissions of the IUGS since 1970. Archaeocyathan biozones are available in some key regions. Faunal and palaeocommunities distribution, especially of the reefs they helped build in epeiric seas, and migration pathways constrain Cambrian palaeogeographical reconstructions. A database, using recent compilations of the group, is now online. This free access data source offers specialists a tool, easy to use not only as an identification key but also to establish faunal, geographical and stratigraphical distributions of archaeocyathan genera, and a rapid first step towards Cambrian palaeogeographical reconstructions.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


Geological Society, London, Memoirs

Early Palaeozoic Biogeography and Palaeogeography

D. A. T. Harper
D. A. T. Harper
Durham University, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
T. Servais
T. Servais
CNRS–Université de Lille 1, France
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2013




A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now