Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Possible animal-body fossils in pre-Marinoan limestones from South Australia

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

DOI

Author(s)

Adam C. Maloof, Catherine V. Rose, Robert Beach, Bradley M. Samuels, Claire C. Calmet, Douglas H. Erwin, Gerald R. Poirier, Nan Yao, Frederik J. Simons

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The Neoproterozoic era was punctuated by the Sturtian (about 710 million years ago) and Marinoan (about 635 million years ago) intervals of glaciation. In South Australia, the rocks left behind by the glaciations are separated by a succession of limestones and shales, which were deposited at tropical latitudes. Here we describe millimetre- to centimetre-scale fossils from the Trezona Formation, which pre-dates the Marinoan glaciation. These weakly calcified fossils occur as anvil, wishbone, ring and perforated slab shapes and are contained within stromatolitic limestones. The Trezona Formation fossils pre-date the oldest known calcified fossils of this size by 90 million years, and cannot be separated from the surrounding calcite matrix or imaged by traditional X-ray-based tomographic scanning methods. Instead, we have traced cross-sections of individual fossils by serially grinding and scanning each sample at a resolution of 50.8 μm. From these images we constructed three-dimensional digital models of the fossils. Our reconstructions show a population of ellipsoidal organisms without symmetry and with a network of interior canals that lead to circular apertures on the fossil surface. We suggest that several characteristics of these reef-dwelling fossils are best explained if the fossils are identified as sponge-grade metazoans.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume3
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Snowball Earth climate dynamics and Cryogenian geology-geobiology

    Hoffman, P. F. , Abbot, D. S. , Ashkenazy, Y. , Benn, D. I. , Brocks, J. J. , Cohen, P. A. , Cox, G. M. , Creveling, J. R. , Donnadieu, Y. , Erwin, D. H. , Fairchild, I. J. , Ferreira, D. , Goodman, J. C. , Halverson, G. P. , Jansen, M. F. , Le Hir, G. , Love, G. D. , Macdonald, F. A. , Maloof, A. C. , Partin, C. A. & 7 others Ramstein, G., Rose, B. E. J., Rose, C. V., Sadler, P. M., Tziperman, E., Voigt, A. & Warren, S. G. 8 Nov 2017 In : Science Advances. 3, 11, 44 p., e1600983

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Spatial Heterogeneity in Sulfur Isotopes: Implications for Modern Environments and Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions

    Fike, D. A., Rose, C., Gao, J. & Aller, R. C. 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : Chemical Geology.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  3. Carbon and Sulfur Cycling During the Silurian Ireviken Event: Insights from Gotland, Sweden

    Rose, C., Beaudoin, C., Fischer, W. W., Finnegan, S. & Fike, D. A. 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Rethinking the ancient sulfur cycle

    Fike, D. A., Bradley, A. S. & Rose, C. V. 30 May 2015 In : Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. 43, p. 593-622 30 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  5. The end-cryogenian glaciation of South Australia

    Rose, C. V., Maloof, A. C., Schoene, B., Ewing, R. C., Linnemann, U., Hofmann, M. & Cottle, J. M. 2013 In : Geoscience Canada. 40, 4, p. 256-293 38 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. Deglacial upwelling, productivity and CO2 outgassing in the North Pacific Ocean

    Gray, W. R., Rae, J. W. B., Wills, R. C. J., Shevenell, A. E., Taylor, B., Burke, A., Foster, G. L. & Lear, C. H. 23 Apr 2018 In : Nature Geoscience. 8 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Emergence of blueschists on Earth linked to secular changes in oceanic crust composition

    Palin, R. M. & White, R. W. Jan 2016 In : Nature Geoscience. 9, p. 60-64

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  3. Orbitally forced ice sheet fluctuations during the Marinoan Snowball Earth glaciation

    Benn, D. I., Le Hir, G., Bao, H., Donnadieu, Y., Dumas, C., Fleming, E. J., Hambrey, M. J., McMillan, E. A., Petronis, M. S., Ramstein, G., Stevenson, C. T. E., Wynn, P. M. & Fairchild, I. J. 1 Oct 2015 In : Nature Geoscience. 8, 9, p. 704-707 4 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Emergence of modern continental crust about 3 billion years ago

    Dhuime, B., Wuestefeld, A. & Hawkesworth, C. J. 2 Jul 2015 In : Nature Geoscience. 8, 7, p. 552-555 4 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  5. Reply to 'Pliocene warmth and gradients'

    O'Brien, C., Foster, G., Rae, J. W. B. & Pancost, R. 2015 In : Nature Geoscience. 8, p. 420 1 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

ID: 250641604