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Tubular compression fossils from the Ediacaran Nama Group, Namibia

Cohen, P. A. and Bradley, A. and Knoll, A. H. and Grotzinger, J. P. and Jensen, S. and Abelson, J. and Hand, K. and Love, G. and Metz, J. and McLoughlin, N. and Meister, P, P. and Shepard, R. and Tice, M. and Wilson, J. P. (2009) Tubular compression fossils from the Ediacaran Nama Group, Namibia. Journal of Paleontology, 83 (1). pp. 110-122. ISSN 0022-3360.

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Abundant tubular macrofossils occur in finely laminated siltstones and shales of the 548–542 Ma Schwarzrand Subgroup, Nama Group, Namibia. The Nama tubes occur in both the Vingerbreek and Feldschuhhorn members commonly in dense populations and always in fine-grained, lower shore-face lithologies deposited below fair-weather wave base. The tubes are preserved mostly as compressed casts and molds that range in width from 0.6 to 2.1 mm; apparently incomplete specimens reach lengths up to 10 cm. All specimens show sinuous bending and occasional brittle fracture, indicating an original construction of strong but flexible organic matter. Feldschuhhorn specimens preserve fine longitudinal pleats or folds that record pliant organic walls, but the older Vingerbreek populations do not. Similarly, some specimens in the Feldschuhhorn Member display branching, while Vingerbreek tubes do not. The abundant Feldschuhhorn tubes are assigned to the widespread Ediacaran problematicum Vendotaenia antiqua; however, the distinctive Vingerbreek population remains in open nomenclature. The most abundant fossils in Nama rocks, these tubes resemble populations in Ediacaran successions from Russia, China, Spain, and elsewhere. Beyond their local importance, then, such tubes may turn out to be the most abundant record of Ediacaran life.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Knoll, A. H.0000-0003-1308-8585
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Hand, K.0000-0002-3225-9426
Love, G.0000-0002-6516-014X
Additional Information:© 2009, The Paleontological Society. Accepted, 16 September 2008. This project was supported by a gift from the Agouron Institute (to AHK and JPG) to support advanced field research and education in historical geobiology. All but one of the authors participated in the field mapping that underpins the research reported here. We thank G. Narbonne and S. Xiao for helpful reviews, M. Moczydlowska-Vidal and M. B. Gnilovskaya for access to comparative materials and B. Gaines, P. Orr, N. Tosca, and D. Johnston for helpful discussion. This work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), which is supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF award no. ECS-0335765. Jensen acknowledges funding from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) through the program "Ramón y Cajal," the grant CGL 2004-02967 [cofinanced with Fondo Europeo de Desarrolla Regional (FEDER)].
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (MEC)2004-02967
Fondo Europeo de Desarrolla Regional (FEDER)UNSPECIFIED
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ID Code:13260
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Feb 2009 23:05
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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