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The Ediacaran Aspidella-type impressions in the Jinxian successions of Liaoning Province, northeastern China
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences. Uppsala University. (Palaeobiology)
(Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology)
2016 (English)In: Lethaia: an international journal of palaeontology and stratigraphy, ISSN 0024-1164, E-ISSN 1502-3931, doi.:10.1111/let.12173Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We identify the macroscopic impression fossils from the Xingmincun Formation of the Jinxian Group, Liaoning Province of northeastern China as members of the Aspidella plexus of the Ediacaran age. This is the first recognition of the taxon in the Liaoning Province, although such fossils have been previously recorded in the succession but were referred to as new species and relegated to an earlier Neoproterozoic age. A revision of the taxonomic interpretation and relative age estimation of the previous record is provided as well as an evaluation of abiotic vs biotic processes that could produce similar structures to studied impressions. We consider the mode of preservation of the fossils from a biochemical point of view and the properties of organic matter in the integument of soft-bodied metazoans. The selective preservation of the Ediacaran organisms, including metazoans, as impressions (moulds and casts) against the organically preserved contemporaneous cyanobacterial and algal microfossils and an exceptionally small number of terminal Ediacaran metazoan fossils (Sabellidites, Conotubus and Shaanxilites), demonstrates the non-resistant characteristics and the very different biochemical constitution of the Ediacaran metazoans compared with those that evolved in the Cambrian and after. The refractory biomacromolecules in cell walls of photosynthesizing microbiota (bacterans, cutans, algaenan and sporopollenin groups) and in the chitinous body walls of Sabellidites sharply contrast to the labile biopolymers in Ediacaran metazoans known only from impressions. The newly emerging biosynthesis of resistant biopolymers in metazoans (chitin and collagen groups) initiated by the annelids at the end of Ediacaran and fully evolved in Cambrian metazoans, considered with the ability to biomineralize, made their body preservation possible. The Chengjiang and Burgess Shale metazoans show evidence of this new biochemistry in body walls and cuticles, and not only because of the specific taphonomic window that enhanced their preservation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2016. doi.:10.1111/let.12173
Keyword [en]
Aspidella plexus, early metazoans, organic biochemistry, selective preservation, taphonomy
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-292805DOI: 10.1111/let.12173OAI: diva2:926699
Divergence of Proterozoic-Cambrian phytoplankton and timing of the symbiotic origins of chlorophyte algae
Swedish Research Council, 621-2012-1669
Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-09 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved

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Moczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata
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