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Petrographic analysis of new specimens of the putative microfossil Vernanimalcula guizhouena (Doushantuo Formation, South China)

Petryshyn, Victoria A. and Bottjer, David J. and Chen, Jun-Yuan and Gao, Feng (2013) Petrographic analysis of new specimens of the putative microfossil Vernanimalcula guizhouena (Doushantuo Formation, South China). Precambrian Research, 225 . pp. 58-66. ISSN 0301-9268. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130308-103103348

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Abstract

The Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Formation contains some of the earliest evidence for animals and animal embryos, including the putative bilaterian Vernanimalcula guizhouena. Samples of the black facies of the Weng’an Phosphate Member of the Doushantuo Formation were disaggregated in a weak, buffered formic acid solution in order to concentrate microfossils, and mounted in epoxy. The resulting grain mounts were made into thin sections and examined petrographically. Five specimens with morphology matching what was described as Vernanimalcula were found in a single sample from the black facies. Up to five individual, repeated structures are found in each specimen. Measurements of lengths and widths of morphological features were made on the new specimens. These measurements are found to be consistently similar across the new specimens, and within the range reported for the original specimens. A diagenetic sequence is constructed using the available evidence. This sequence consists of: The early phosphatization of a biological structure; a second phase of internal sedimentation, compaction and dewatering; and a later phase of phosphatic cementation. While this study does not constitute the final word on the biogenicity of these morphologies, it seems unlikely that phosphatization alone could be responsible for a large number of specimens with the same repeated form with the same dimensions. The strikingly similar sizes and morphologies, as well as the observed diagenetic sequence, lead us to conclude that these specimens are likely biogenic in nature.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.precamres.2011.08.003DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301926811001586PublisherUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2011 Elsevier B.V. Received 20 May 2011; Received in revised form 2 August 2011; Accepted 14 August 2011; Available online 23 August 2011. We wish to thank several people whose advice has been greatly appreciated, namely Eric Davidson, Nick Butterfield, and Kurt Konhauser, and two anonymous reviewers. C.J.Y. was supported by National Science Foundation of China (Grant 41023008).
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Science Foundation of China41023008
Subject Keywords:Doushantuo; Vernanimalcula; Neoproterozoic
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130308-103103348
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130308-103103348
Official Citation:Victoria A. Petryshyn, David J. Bottjer, Jun-Yuan Chen, Feng Gao, Petrographic analysis of new specimens of the putative microfossil Vernanimalcula guizhouena (Doushantuo Formation, South China), Precambrian Research, Volume 225, February 2013, Pages 58-66, ISSN 0301-9268, 10.1016/j.precamres.2011.08.003.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37415
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:08 Mar 2013 19:40
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:47

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