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An early Ediacaran assemblage of macroscopic and morphologically differentiated eukaryotes
Yuan, X.; Chen, Z.; Xiao, S.; Zhou, C.; Hua, H. (2011). An early Ediacaran assemblage of macroscopic and morphologically differentiated eukaryotes. Nature (Lond.) 470(7334): 390-393. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1038/nature09810
In: Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 0028-0836, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Yuan, X.
  • Chen, Z.
  • Xiao, S.
  • Zhou, C.
  • Hua, H.

Abstract
    The deep-water Avalon biota (about 579 to 565 million years old) is often regarded as the earliest-known fossil assemblage with macroscopic and morphologically complex life forms(1). It has been proposed that the rise of the Avalon biota was triggered by the oxygenation of mid-Ediacaran deep oceans(2). Here we report a diverse assemblage of morphologically differentiated benthic macrofossils that were preserved largely in situ as carbonaceous compressions in black shales of the Ediacaran Lantian Formation (southern Anhui Province, South China). The Lantian biota, probably older than and taxonomically distinct from the Avalon biota, suggests that morphological diversification of macroscopic eukaryotes may have occurred in the early Ediacaran Period, perhaps shortly after the Marinoan glaciation, and that the redox history of Ediacaran oceans was more complex than previously thought.

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