Three-Dimensional Preservation of Algae and Animal Embryos in a Neoproterozoic Phosphorite
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CitationXiao, Shuhai H., Yun Zhang, and Andrew H. Knoll. 1998. Three-dimensional preservation of algae and animal embryos in a Neoproterozoic phosphorite. Nature 391, no. 6667: 553-558.
AbstractPhosphorites of the late Neoproterozoic (570 +/- 20 Myr BP) Doushantuo Formation, southern China, preserve an exceptional record of multicellular life from just before the Ediacaran radiation of macroscopic animals. Abundant thalli with cellular structures preserved in three-dimensional detail show that latest-Proterozoic algae already possessed many of the anatomical and reproductive features seen in the modern marine flora. Embryos preserved in early cleavage stages indicate that the divergence of lineages leading to bilaterians may have occurred well before their macroscopic traces or body fossils appear in the geological record. Discovery of these fossils shows that the early evolution of multicellular organisms is amenable to direct palaeontological inquiry.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3157880
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