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Found 49 results

  1. Oldest Known Macroscopic Skeletal Organism Was Masquerading as Fossilized Feces. Some researchers initially dismissed the remains of Palaeopascichnus lineari as teeny turds from a bygone era SmithsonianCom, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews-history-archaeology/oldest-known-macroscopic-skeletal-organism-was-masquerading-fossilized-feces-180970509/ Petrified Chains of 'Poop' Turn Out to Be One of Earth's Oldest Skeletons By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science, October 9, 2018 https://www.livescience.com/63783-mystery-fossil-is-oldest-exoskeleton.html Kolesnikov, A.V., Rogov, V.I., Bykova, N.V., Danelian, T., Clausen, S., Maslov, A.V. and Grazhdankin, D.V., 2018. The oldest skeletal macroscopic organism Palaeopascichnus linearis. Precambrian Research, 316, pp.24-37. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301926817307052 http://www.ipgg.sbras.ru/ru/science/publications/publ-the-oldest-skeletal-macroscopic-organism-palaeopascichnus-047874 Yours, Paul H.
  2. from: Science Magazine Gregory J. Retallack, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon (October 3, 2018) Bobrovskiy et al. (1) have assembled impressive biomarker data which rules out three of five alternatives for the biological affinities of the problematic Ediacaran fossils Dickinsonia and Andiva. The cholesterols extracted from the fossils do indeed rule out affinities with lichenized fungi such as Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, and also with Rhizaria. This does not mean that Dickinsonia and Andiva were necessarily animals, because a third fungal phylum, Glomeromycota, also produces cholesterol without ergosterol (2). The living lichenized glomeromycotan, Geosiphon pyriformis, is unusual in housing the photosymbiont inside enlarged cells (3), and its fossil record may include Precambrian problematica such as Horodyskia (4) and Diskagma ranging in age back 2.2 Ga (5). Glomeromycotan fungi are also known from Ediacaran acritarchs with attached hyphae, stalked vesicles, complex wall ultrastructure, and chitin composition demonstrated by FTIR (6). A glomeromycotan lichen fragment preserved by cellular permineralization also has been described from Ediacaran rocks of China (7). Cholesterol in Dickinsonia and Andiva permits both glomeromycotan and animal affinities, but additional observations provide a test of these alternatives. Bobrovskiy et al. (1) also found that the proportion of cholesterol relative to stigmasterol (a chlorophyte biomarker) increased in larger compared with smaller Dickinsonia. This is not what would be expected for a slow-moving or sessile animal increasingly fouled with algae as it grew, nor would such a regular decline be expected from vagaries of animal-feeding on algae. Declining stigmasterol with increasing cholesterol is compatible with building of fungal biomass by controlled populations of photosymbiotic algae. Dickinsonia and Andiva may have been glomeromycotan fungi lichenized with green algae. Undisputed Ediacaran animals trace and body fossils are small (< 5mm diameter) and vermiform with chitin or calcite skeletons, and have been characterized as Ediacaran Wormworld (8). In contrast, Dickinsonia and Andiva are part of a diverse group of large (up to 1.4 m) and unskeletonized, crustose to foliose, quilted organisms, from very different sedimentary facies (9), and could be characterized as Ediacaran Mattressland. References and Notes 1. I. Brobovskiy, et al., Science 361, 1246-1249 (2018). 2. Fontaine et al. Lipids 36, 1357, 2001; J.D. Weete, M. Abril, M. Blackwell, PloS One 5(5), e10899 (2010). 3. A. Schüßler, M.Kluge, M., in The Mycota IX (ed. B. Hock), 151-161 (Springer, Berlin, 2000) 4. G.J. Retallack, K.L. Dunn, J. Saxby, J. Precambrian Research 126, 125–142 (2013). 5. G.J. Retallack, et al., Precambrian Research 235, 71-87 (2013). 6. G.J. Retallack, Botanica Pacifica 4(2), 19-33 (2015). 7. X. Yuan, S. Xiao, T. N. Taylor, Science 308, 1017-1020 (2005) 8. J.D. Schiffbauer et al. GSA Today 26(11), 4-11 (2016) 9. G.J. Retallack, Nature 493, 89-92 (2013), Gondwana Research 36, 94-110 (2016), Alcheringa 40, 583-600 (2016).
  3. I have noticed lately that a lot of fossils of so called Sabellidites cambriensis are popping up on a lot of sites for sale. They're sold as basal annelid worms that arose during the terminal Ediacaran. They predominantly are coming from the Lontova formation, dated at ~541-545 Mya, which is more or less the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary. I would think that such fossils would be of great interest to researchers since, assuming they are basal annelids, they would represent one of, if not the first, appearances of a modern phylum in the fossil record. Yet the literature on this species is very sparse, with no more than half a dozen papers having been published since it's initial description in 1926. Does anyone here have any information on this subject?
  4. Lit.:Andrey Ivantsov et al.: Guidebook of the field paleontological excursion: Zimnie Gory - locality of the Vendian (Ediacaran) soft-bodied animals. link
  5. There is a website that describes a controversial fossil found in 2003: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/11/10/984724.htm Since it doesn't have a name at the time of publishing, I'm finding it difficult to find more information on it.
  6. As a young mineral, crystal and fossil collector, I was perusing through my uncle's 1962 copy of "Scientific American". In it was an article on recently described "Animals" of the Precambrian period. I was fascinated by the artist's abstract rendition of these critters as they may have lived. The early scientists were beguiled as was I. Naturally, collectors envision finding great things themselves and so the wanting started. Fast forward to 2016 and I find myself retired. Nearly all localities of these Precambrian sites are protected and I realize I won't be digging these fossils anytime soon. My next move was, those who cannot collect , buy. In the order of Jonesing I wanted a Dickinsonia. Then came my two Kimberella. And my last hold out was Tribrachidium. At this point any Vendian creature I get is just a plus, Jonesing is a whimsical thing that can break your piggy bank.
  7. Why life on Earth first got big, University of Cambridge, ScienceDaily, June 25, 2018 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180625122505.htm N.L. fossils take centre stage in new academic paper Sadie-Rae Werner, The Western Star, Newfoundland http://www.thewesternstar.com/news/nl-fossils-take-centre-stage-in-new-academic-paper-222060/ Five things to know about Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, The Telegram, July 18, 2016 http://www.thetelegram.com/news/local/five-things-to-know-about-mistaken-point-ecological-reserve-127401/ The paper is: Emily G. Mitchell, Charlotte G. Kenchington. The utility of height for the Ediacaran organisms of Mistaken Point. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0591-6 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325973266_The_utility_of_height_for_Ediacaran_organisms_of_Mistaken_Point https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emily_Mitchell21 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0591-6 Another paper is: Mitchell, E.G. and Butterfield, N.J., 2018. Spatial analyses of Ediacaran communities at Mistaken Point. Paleobiology, 44(1), pp. 40-57. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322724259_Spatial_analyses_of_Ediacaran_communities_at_Mistaken_Point https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324078992_Spatial_analyses_of_Ediacaran_communities_at_Mistaken_Point https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emily_Mitchell21 Yours, Paul H.
  8. “Names of recently discovered Ediacaran era fossil animals honor President Barack Obama and Sir David Attenborough“ https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/54142 https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/19/scientists-discover-fossil-sea-creature-obama/714479002/
  9. These Are the Oldest Known Footprints on the Planet By George Dvorsky, Gizmodo, June 7, 2018 https://gizmodo.com/these-are-the-oldest-known-footprints-on-the-planet-1826648702 When did animals leave their first footprint on Earth? Chinese Academy of Sciences, June 6, 2018, Press Release https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/caos-wda060518.php The paper is: Zhe Chen, Xiang Chen, Chuanming Zhou, Xunlai Yuan, and Shuhai Xiao, 2018, Late Ediacaran trackways produced by bilaterian animals with paired appendages Science Advances 06 Jun 2018: Vol. 4, no. 6, eaao6691 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6691 http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/6/eaao6691 Yours, Paul H.
  10. Rise of Animals, Fedonkin et al.

    I just finished reading this one. I do recommend it for the early-life nuts among us. It's chock full of eye candy, diagrams and info on everything Precambrian, not just Ediacaran though that is the focus, and into the Cambrian as well. State of the art as of 2007.. I'd like to see an updated edition if there ever is one. There is an introductory section covering everything from the universe and the origin of Earth and of life, early macroscopic fossils, the Snowball Earth and so on, then gets into the meat of the different sites (major and minor) bearing Ediacaran fossils including some of the history of the sites' discovery, and of course the thinking around what the different critters are and how they evolved. I particularly like the 'Atlas of Precambrian Metazoans' toward the back. Sample pages:
  11. This question just crossed my mind today, seemingly without provocation: What are the oldest known coprolites in the fossil record, whether from vertebrates or invertebrates? I know of Paleozoic coprolites, but is there any evidence of coprolites before that, perhaps from the Ediacaran? And if there are no pre-Cambrian coprolites recorded, what are the oldest known from the Paleozoic? I have a feeling that @GeschWhat might know a thing or two about this subject since, after all, she is the official Queen of Poopiness on TFF.
  12. Did Cloudina Build reefs?

    Princeton geologists solve fossil mystery by creating 3-D ‘virtual tour’ through rock, Prnceton University https://www.princeton.edu/news/2018/02/27/princeton-geologists-solve-fossil-mystery-creating-3-d-virtual-tour-through-rock Princeton geologists solve fossil mystery by creating 3-D ‘virtual tour’ through rock, Brinkware, March 1, 2018 http://en.brinkwire.com/179755/princeton-geologists-solve-fossil-mystery-by-creating-3-d-virtual-tour-through-rock/ The paper is: Mehra, A., and Maloof, A., 2018, Multiscale approach reveals that Cloudina aggregates are detritus and not in situ reef constructions. PNAS 2018; published ahead of print February 26, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1719911115 http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/02/21/1719911115 Yours, Paul H.
  13. Biomarkers helped solving the mystery of 500-million-year-old macroorganisms, Lomonosov Moscow State University, January 23, 2018, https://phys.org/news/2018-01-biomarkers-mystery-million-year-old-macroorganisms.html Bobrovskiy, I., Hope, J.M., Krasnova, A., Ivantsov, A. and Brocks, J.J., 2018. Molecular fossils from organically preserved Ediacara biota reveal cyanobacterial origin for Beltanelliformis. Nature Ecology & Evolution, Received: 16 July 2017 Accepted: 04 December 2017 Published online: 22 January 2018 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0438-6 Yours, Paul H.
  14. From the album Invertebrates

    Palaeopascichnus delicatus Palij, 1976 Ediacaran Mohyliv-Podilskyi Group Mohylev Formation Bernashivka Ukraine From Wikipedia: Palaeopascichnus is a genus of Ediacaran organism comprising a series of lobes; it is plausibly a protozoan, but probably unrelated to the classical 'Ediacaran biota'. Lit.: ANTCLIFFE, J., GOODAY A. and BRASIER, M.: TESTING THE PROTOZOAN HYPOTHESIS FOR EDIACARAN FOSSILS: A DEVELOPMENTAL ANALYSIS OF PALAEOPASCICHNUS. Palaeontology, Vol. 54, Part 5, 2011, pp . 1157–1175
  15. From the album Invertebrates

    Namacalathus hermanastes Grotzinger et al., 2000 Ediacaran Nama Group Kuibis Quarzit Fish River Canyon Namibia Lit.: Zhuravlev AY, Wood RA, Penny AM. 2015 Ediacaran skeletal metazoan interpreted as a lophophorate. Proc. R. Soc. B 282 : 20151860. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1860
  16. Ediacaran Cyclomedusa davidi Sprigg, 1947

    From the album Invertebrates

    Cyclomedusa davidi Sprigg, 1947 Upper Ediacaran Mohylev formation Yampil beds Bernashivka Ukraine Diameter ~ 9cm / 4"
  17. Hunting Rare Fossils of the Ediacaran

    Wendel, J. (2017), Hunting rare fossils of the Ediacaran, Eos, 98, https://doi.org/10.1029/2017EO086601. Published on 13 November 2017. https://eos.org/features/hunting-rare-fossils-of-the-ediacaran https://eos.org/current-issues “The search for fossil imprints and casts of squishy organisms takes time, perseverance, and sometimes a sprinkle of luck.” Smith, E.F., Nelson, L.L., Tweedt, S.M., Zeng, H. and Workman, J.B., 2017, July. A cosmopolitan late Ediacaran biotic assemblage: new fossils from Nevada and Namibia support a global biostratigraphic link. In Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Vol. 284, No. 1858, p. 20170934). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318379716_A_cosmopolitan_late_Ediacaran_biotic_assemblage_new_fossils_from_Nevada_and_Namibia_support_a_global_biostratigraphic_link https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Emily_Smith52 http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1858/20170934 A related paper is: E.F. Smith L.L. Nelson M.A. Strange A.E. Eyster S.M. Rowland D.P. Schrag F.A. Macdonald, 2016, The end of the Ediacaran: Two new exceptionally preserved body fossil assemblages from Mount Dunfee, Nevada, USA Geology 44 (11):911-914. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1130/G38157.1 https://static1.squarespace.com/static/53cedb86e4b0710434ee1ff4/t/57fee4eef5e231fadeb000ee/1476322543557/Smith_2016_Geology_Dunfee.pdf https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/geology/article/44/11/911/195087/the-end-of-the-ediacaran-two-new-exceptionally Yours, Paul H.
  18. Ediacaran Fauna -- or Flub?

    Hi all, well this is the second drawing Ive ever made in my life other than stick figures. I consider my last post a total failure (trilobite) so Im trying another subject material. Since the last post, Ive watched a few hours of You tube videos on how to do basic drawings, and hopefully that made a difference. This one took me on and off - about two days to do. So what do you think - Fauna or Flub?
  19. Adam's Cambrian

    A rangeomorph holdfast trace fossil from the Ediacara formation, Rawnsley quartzite of the Flinders Range, South Australia. This specimen is Medusina mawsoni, so called because it was until recently thought to be a jellyfish, but is now believed to be the attachment point of a fractal rangeomorph as Charniodiscus is the point of anchorage for Charnia sp. This one may have been the holdfast point for some species of Rangea. The diameter of the outer circle is 1.5 cm and the fossil is estimated to be 555 million years old.
  20. Rangeomorph Holdfast

    Until recently classified as a jellyfish, Medusina mawsoni is now considered to be the trace where a holdfast where a rangeomorph such as Rangea was connected to the substrate as in Charniodiscus being the base of Charnia. This specimen is thus about 555 million years old and is from the Rawnsley Quartzite.
  21. fossil holdfast

    From the album Adam's Cambrian

    This is a rangeomorph holdfast from the Ediacaran of the Flinder's Range in Australia. It is labeled as Medusinites mawsoni, as it was believed to have belonged to a jellyfish, but this is now not considered to be true, and is likely similar to Charniodiscus in being the holdfast for a member of the Vendobionta, probably a fractal rangeomorph like Charnia. This is therefore Precambrian in age, somewhere between 550 to 560 million years old or so.
  22. Dickinsonia was an animal

    Been some good invertebrate articles out there lately..... https://phys.org/news/2017-09-mysterious-ancient-creature-animal.html
  23. Half-a-billion-year-old fossils shed light animal evolution on earth, University of Manchester, September 11, 2017 http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/half-a-billion-year-old-fossils-shed-new-light-on-animal-evolution/ https://phys.org/news/2017-09-half-a-billion-year-old-fossils-animal-evolution-earth.html https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170911122628.htm Tha paper is: Parry, L. A., P. C. Boggiani, D. J. Condon, and others, 2017, Ichnological evidence for meiofaunal bilaterians from the terminal Ediacaran and earliest Cambrian of Brazil Nature Ecology & Evolution. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0301-9 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319109419_Ichnological_evidence_for_meiofaunal_bilaterians_from_the_terminal_Ediacaran_and_earliest_Cambrian_of_Brazil https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0301-9 Lidya G. Tarhan, 2017, Meiofauna mute the Cambrian Explosion News and Views, Nature Ecology & Evolution https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0324-2 Yours, Paul H.
  24. These are a few of the pdf files (and a few Microsoft Word documents) that I've accumulated in my web browsing. MOST of these are hyperlinked to their source. If you want one that is not hyperlinked or if the link isn't working, e-mail me at joegallo1954@gmail.com and I'll be happy to send it to you. Please note that this list will be updated continuously as I find more available resources. All of these files are freely available on the Internet so there should be no copyright issues. Articles with author names in RED are new additions since June 7, 2018. Kingdom incertae sedis Clade Arboreamorpha Laflamme, M., J.G. Gehling and M.L. Droser (2018). Deconstructing an Ediacaran frond: three-dimensional preservation of Arborea from Ediacara, South Australia. Journal of Paleontology, 92(3). Clade incertae sedis Bykova, N., et al. (2017). A geochemical study of the Ediacaran discoidal fossil Aspidella preserved in limestones: Implications for its taphonomy and paleoecology. Geobiology, 2017; 15. Clapham, M.E., et al. (2004). Thectardis avalonensis: A New Ediacaran Fossil from the Mistaken Point Biota, Newfoundland. J.Paleont., 78(6). Sperling, E.A., K.J. Peterson and M. Laflamme (2011). Rangeomorphs, Thectardis (Porifera?) and dissolved organic carbon in the Ediacaran oceans. Geobiology, 9. Clade Rangeomorpha Bamforth, E.L. (2008). Multibranched Rangeomorphs from the Ediacaran Mistaken Point Assemblage, Newfoundland, Canada. Masters Thesis - Queen's University. (133 pages) Brasier, M.D., J.B. Antcliffe and A.G. Liu (2012). The Architecture of Ediacaran Fronds. Palaeontology, Vol.55, Part 5. Brasier, M.D., et al. (2013). Explaining the exceptional preservation of Ediacaran rangeomorphs from Spaniard's Bay, Newfoundland: A hydraulic model. Precambrian Research, 231. Dzik, J. (2002). Possible Ctenophoran Affinities of the Precambrian "Sea-Pen" Rangea. Journal of Morphology, 252. Flude, L.I. (2009). Ediacaran Rangeomorphs in the Mistaken Point Biota, Newfoundland. Masters Thesis - Queen's University. Grazhdankin, D. and A. Seilacher (2005). A re-examination of the Nama-type Vendian organism Rangea schneiderhoehni. Geol.Mag., 142(4). Hoyal Cuthill, J.F. and S.C. Morris (2014). Fractal branching organizations of Ediacaran rangeomorph fronds reveal a lost Proterozoic body plan. PNAS, Vol.111, Number 36. Laflamme, M. (2007). Ediacaran Fronds from the Mistaken Point Assemblage, Newfoundland. Ph.D. Thesis - Queen's University. (27.7MB download) Laflamme, M. and G.M. Narbonne (2008). Competition in a Precambrian world: palaeoecology of Ediacaran fronds. Geology Today, Vol.24, Number 5. Laflamme, M. and G.M. Narbonne (2008). Ediacaran Fronds. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 258. Liu, A.G., J.J. Matthews and D. McIlroy (2015). The Beothukis/Culmofrons Problem and Its Bearing On Ediacaran Macrofossil Taxonomy: Evidence from an Exceptional New Fossil Locality. Palaeontology, 2015. Liu, A.G., et al. (2013). Exploring an Ediacaran 'nursery': growth, ecology and evolution in a rangeomorph palaeocommunity. Geology Today, Vol.29, Number 1. Liu, A.G., et al. (2012). A new assemblage of juvenile Ediacaran fronds from the Drook Formation, Newfoundland. Journal of the Geological Society, London, Vol.169. Sperling, E.A., K.J. Peterson and M. Laflamme (2011). Rangeomorphs, Thectardis (Porifera?) and dissolved organic carbon in the Ediacaran oceans. Geobiology, 9. Vickers-Rich, P., et al. (2013). Reconstructing Rangea: New Discoveries from the Ediacaran of Southern Namibia. Journal of Paleontology, 87(1). Phylum Petalonamae Antcliffe, J.B. and M.D. Brasier (2008). Charnia at 50: Developmental Models for Ediacaran Fronds. Palaeontology, Vol.51, Part 1. Antcliffe, J.B. and M.D. Brasier (2007). Charnia and sea pens are poles apart. Journal of the Geological Society, London, Vol.164. Dzik, J. and A. Martyshyn (2017). Hydraulic sediment penetration and seasonal growth of petalonamean basal discs from the Vendian of Ukraine. Precambrian Research, 302. Ivantsov. A. Yu. (2016). Reconstruction of Charniodiscus yorgensis (Macrobiota from the Vendian of the White Sea). Paleontological Journal, Vol.50, Number 1. Ivantsov. A. Yu. and D.V. Grazhdankin (1997). A New Representative of the Petalonamae from the Upper Vendian of from the Arkhangelsk Region. Paleontological Journa., Vol.31, Number 1. Laflamme, M., G.M. Narbonne and M.M. Anderson (2004). Morphometric Analysis of the Ediacaran Frond Charniodiscus from the Mistaken Point Formation, Newfoundland. J.Paleont., 78(5). Laflamme, M., et al. (2007). Morphology and taphonomy of an Ediacaran frond: Charnia from the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland. In: The Rise and Fall of the Ediacaran Biota. Vickers-Rich, P. and P. Komarower (eds.), Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 286.