Abstract

We report the occurrence of organically preserved microfossils from the subsurface Ediacaran strata overlying the East European Platform in Poland, in the form of sclerites and cuticle fragments of larger organisms. They are morphologically similar to those known from Cambrian strata and associated with various metazoan fossils of recognized phyla. The Ediacaran age of the microfossils is evident from the stratigraphic position below the base of the Cambrian System and above the isotopically dated tuff layers at c. 551±4Ma. Within this strata interval, other characteristic Ediacaran microorganisms co-occur such as cyanobacteria, vendotaenids, microalgae, Ceratophyton, Valkyria and macroscopic annelidan Sabellidites. The recent contributions of organic sclerites in revealing the scope of the Cambrian explosion are therefore also potentially extendable back to the Ediacaran Period when animals first appear in the fossil record.

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