Abstract

A new acanthomorph acritarch genus, Auritusphaera, is erected to accommodate a distinctive form whose processes form a pseudo-reticulum on the surface of a spherical vesicle. The genus is present in, and restricted to, the Upper Shale Member of the Nolichucky Shale in eastern Tennessee, U.S.A., where it is found in two cores drilled in the grounds of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Upper Shale Member corresponds to the upper part of the Cedaria–Crepicephalus biozone and the lower part of the Aphelaspis biozone, and is Late Cambrian in age. The distinctive morphology of this acritarch may render it a potential marker for the Upper Cambrian Marjuman/Steptoean Stage boundary.

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