Abstract

The authors show the paleontological events on acritarchs, stromatolites, cyanophyta, soft-bodied metazoa, trilobites, archaeocyathans and skeletal microfossils from three representative sequences of the above mentioned zones and discuss the position of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary in the sequences. The Sierra de Cordoba general series (Ossa-Morena Zone) has an erosive discontinuity between the rocks with the first record of Cambrian metazoan activity (Skolithos sp., Monomorphichnus sp., Phycodes pedum and Rusophycus sp.) and the rocks with a palynological association (Bavlinella faveolata, Protosphaeridium flexosum, Trachisphaeridium sp., aff. Octoedryxium truncatum, Phycomicetes? sp. and cf. Ooidium sp.) which suggests a lower-middle Vendian age. For this reason we suggest that the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary be placed at this unconformity. The upper part of the Sierra de Guadalupe Series (Luso-Oriental-Alcudica Zone) includes detrital beds with Phycodes pedum, Planolites sp. and Treptichnus sp. which are also the first record of Cambrian metazoan activity. In the middle part of the sequences, acritarchs attributed to the genus Micrhystridium are found at the top of the Calcareous Beds. This is taken to indicate an early Cambrian age. Vendotaenids and Bavlinella faveolata are found in abundance, thus indicating a late Vendian age for the middle part of this unit. Thus, we propose the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary be located in the upper part of the Calcareous Beds. In the Rio Uso Series (Galaico-Castellana Zone), the Azorejo Sandstones contain Rusophycus gr. radwanskii, Planolites sp. and Gordia sp. Trace fossils produced by trilobite-like Arthropoda (Monomorphichnus) have been cited in the upper part of the underlying Pusa Shales. Moreover, Octoedryxium truncatum and Bavlinella faveolata are found in the lower part of this unit which suggest that the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary could be situated in the Pusa Shales. Calcareous microfossils related to annelid polychaetes are found associated with upper Vendian acritarchs in the Calcareous Beds of Sierra de Guadalupe. They are the oldest record of skeletal metazoa in the Spanish Series. The medusoids found are associated with a Vendian flora and they are also the oldest non-skeletal metazoa record known in the Iberian Peninsula.--Modified journal abstract.

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