Abstract

Metazoan trace fossils of Early Cambrian and older age have been found in parts of the Gog, Cariboo, and Miette Groups of eastern British Columbia and western Alberta. Most of them occur in beds immediately below the zones containing the earliest Cambrian trilobites and archaeocyathids. These beds represent a variety of sedimentary environments, including the beach and littoral (Skolithos – facies), and shallow marine (Cruziana – facies) environments in the upper McNaughton Formation of the Gog Group: and a moderately deep marine environment in the Midas Formation of the Cariboo Group. Below these zones evidence of organic life is mainly restricted to stromatolites in carbonate rocks, and simple feeding-burrows in argillaceous silt-stones. A rare, but important trace fossil in this zone is a doubly furrowed trail, which is herein named Didymaulichnus miettensis (gen. et sp. nov.). This fossil indicates that metazoans existed before the Cambrian Period by a span of time represented by the net deposition of up to 2000 m of detrital sediments.

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