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The advent of hard-part structural support among the Ediacara biota; Ediacaran harbinger of a Cambrian mode of body construction

Erica C. Clites, Mary L. Droser and James G. Gehling
The advent of hard-part structural support among the Ediacara biota; Ediacaran harbinger of a Cambrian mode of body construction
Geology (Boulder) (February 2012) 40 (4): 307-310

Abstract

The apparent lack of taxonomic continuity between the Precambrian and Cambrian fossil records has led to controversial and conflicting interpretations about the Ediacara biota and their place in the evolution of metazoan life on this planet. This has been further complicated by the absence of similar modes of construction between these faunas and the rarity of Precambrian skeletonized fossils. We describe a new Ediacaran organism that represents the oldest multielement organism with structural support through either biomineralization or chitin. Coronacollina acula gen. et sp. nov. from the Ediacara Member (Rawnsley Quartzite) was constructed from a framework of rigid and brittle elements that disarticulated after death. It reveals a constructional mode not recognized previously among members of this assemblage, but one that was prevalent among Cambrian organisms. Coronacollina consists of a truncated cone associated with spicules, up to 37 cm in length, diverging radially from the cone. This constructional morphology is similar to the Cambrian Choia, a low conical demosponge with a corona of long spicules, providing a long-predicted constructional link between the Ediacara biota and the Cambrian fossil record.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 40
Serial Issue: 4
Title: The advent of hard-part structural support among the Ediacara biota; Ediacaran harbinger of a Cambrian mode of body construction
Affiliation: University of California, Riverside, Department of Earth Sciences, Riverside, CA, United States
Pages: 307-310
Published: 20120214
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 32
Accession Number: 2012-039787
Categories: StratigraphyInvertebrate paleontology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: Includes appendix; with GSA Data Repository Item 2012088; accessed on March 19, 2012
Illustration Description: illus.
Source Medium: WWW
S32°30'00" - S29°30'00", E138°00'00" - E139°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: South Australian Museum, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201221
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