Paleobiology of Distinctive Benthic Microfossils from the Upper Proterozoic Limestone-Dolomite "Series," Central East Greenland
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Greene, Julian W.Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
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CitationGreen, Julian W., Andrew H. Knoll, Stjepko Golubic, and Keene Swett. 1987. Paleobiology of distinctive benthic microfossils from the Upper Proterozoic Limestone-Dolomite "Series," central East Greenland. American Journal of Botany 74, no. 6: 928-940.
AbstractPopulations of Polybessurus bipartitus Fairchild ex Green et al., a large and morphologically distinctive microfossil, occur in silicified carbonates of the Upper Proterozoic (700-800 Ma) Limestone-Dolomite "Series," central East Greenland. Large populations of well-preserved individuals permit reconstruction of P. bipartitus as a coccoidal unicell that "jetted" upward from the sediment surface by the highly unidirectional secretion of extracellular mucopolysaccharide envelopes. Reproduction by baeocyte formation is inferred on the basis of clustered envelope stalks produced by small cells. Sedimentological evidence indicates that P. bipartitus formed surficial crusts locally within a shallow peritidal carbonate platform. Among living microorganisms a close morphological, reproductive, and behavioral counterpart to Polybessurus is provided by populations of an as yet undescribed cyanobacterium found in coastal Bahamian environments similar to those in which the Proterozoic fossils occur. In general morphology and "jetting" behavior, this population resembles species of the genus Cyanostylon Geitler (1925), but reproduces via baeocyte formation. Polybessurus is but one of the more than two dozen taxa in the richly fossiliferous biota of the Limestone-Dolomite "Series." This distinctive population, along with co-occuring filamentous cyanobacteria and other microfossils, contribute to an increasingly refined picture of ecological heterogeneity in late Proterozoic oceans.
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