Abstract

This study documents ‘colonial’ palynomorphs from the Upper Ordovician Ghelli Formation of north-eastern Iran. The aggregates of organic-walled microfossils come from the Katian Armoricochitina nigericaAncyrochitina merga chitinozoan biozones of this formation. The ‘colonial’ microfossils can be classified as acritarchs and/or cryptospores, but they cannot be attributed to a particular biological group. Some specimens resemble ‘thalli’ of putative spores, such as Grododowon orthogonalis Strother 2017. Other clusters may suggest an affinity to green algal groups, in particular to colonial chlorophyceaen algae, most probably belonging to Hydrodictyaceae. Some specimens also show morphological similarities with cyanobacterial groups. There is so far no evidence to relate these ‘colonial’ palynomorphs to primitive land plants, but we hypothesise that they were possibly produced by ancient green algal lineages with some kind of subaerial existence.

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