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Fossil clitellate annelid cocoons and their microbiological inclusions from the Eocene of Seymour Island, Antarctica
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6723-239X
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2186-4970
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2268-5824
División Paleontología de Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, Paseo del Bosque s/n, B1900FWA La Plata, Argentina.
2016 (English)In: Palaeontologia Electronica, ISSN 1935-3952, E-ISSN 1094-8074, Vol. 19, no 1.11A, 1-27 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Clitellate annelids have a meagre body fossil record but they secrete proteinaceous

cocoons for the protection of eggs that, after hardening, are readily fossilized

and offer a largely untapped resource for assessing the evolutionary history of this

group. We describe three species of clitellate cocoons (viz., Burejospermum seymourense

sp. nov., B. punctatum sp. nov. and Pegmatothylakos manumii gen. et sp. nov.)

from the lower Eocene La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctica. The

cocoons probably derive from continental settings and were transported to, and preserved

within, nearshore marine to estuarine environments. The cocoons provide the

first evidence of commensal or parasitic relationships in the Eocene continental ecosystems

of Antarctica. Moreover, numerous micro-organisms and the oldest fossilized

examples of animal spermatozoa are preserved as moulds within the consolidated

walls of the cocoons. Fossil annelid cocoons offer potential for enhanced palaeoenvironmental

interpretation of sediments, correlation between continental and shallowmarine

strata, and improved understanding of the development of clitellate annelid

reproductive traits and the evolutionary history of soft-bodied micro-organisms in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palaeontological Association, 2016. Vol. 19, no 1.11A, 1-27 p.
Keyword [en]
branchiobdellids, spermatozoa, La Meseta Formation, Antarctica, cocoons, annelids
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history; Diversity of life
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-1758OAI: diva2:919551
Swedish Research Council, 2014-5234Swedish Research Council, 2014-5232Swedish Research Council, 2009-4447
Available from: 2016-04-14 Created: 2016-04-14 Last updated: 2016-04-14Bibliographically approved

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McLoughlin, StephenBomfleur, BenjaminMörs, Thomas
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