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Fossils of putative marine algae from the Cryogenian glacial interlude of Mongolia

Phoebe A. Cohen, Francis A. Macdonald, Sara Pruss, Emily Matys and Tanja Bosak
Fossils of putative marine algae from the Cryogenian glacial interlude of Mongolia
Palaios (March 2015) 30 (3): 238-247


Neoproterozoic carbonate successions provide a new taphonomic window into the diversification of eukaryotes. We report recently discovered macroscopic organic warty sheets (MOWS) in macerates of limestone from the ca. 662-635 Ma Taishir Formation (Tsagaan Olom Group, Mongolia). Sheets are applanate. One surface contains raised ridges and conspicuous, approximately 100-mu m-tall warty protuberances with depressed tops that enclose internal cavities containing cellular structures. The Taishir MOWS may be the remains of unusual bacterial, protistan, or fungal biofilms, or a previously undocumented, extinct taxon. However, multiple lines of evidence including the morphology of warty protuberances and the presence of cellular architecture within protuberances support the interpretation of MOWS as marine algae, perhaps a member of the Rhodophyta. Regardless of their specific taxonomic affiliation, MOWS increase the diversity of biota reported from the Cryogenian glacial interlude and indicate the presence of macroscopic and morphologically complex multicellular organisms in the Cryogenian.

ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 30
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Fossils of putative marine algae from the Cryogenian glacial interlude of Mongolia
Affiliation: Williams College, Department of Geosciences, Williamstown, MA, United States
Pages: 238-247
Published: 201503
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 67
Accession Number: 2015-052241
Categories: Paleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. cols., 1 table, geol. sketch map
N46°38'60" - N46°42'00", E96°13'60" - E96°34'60"
Secondary Affiliation: Harvard University, USA, United StatesSmith College, USA, United StatesMassachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, United States
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 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201524
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