Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp., interpreted as a muscular cnidarian impression from the Late Ediacaran period (approx. 560 Ma)

Liu, A.G. and Matthews, J. J. and Menon, L. R. and McIlroy, D. and Brasier, M. D. (2014) Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp., interpreted as a muscular cnidarian impression from the Late Ediacaran period (approx. 560 Ma). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281 (1793). p. 20141202. ISSN 0962-8452 DOI 10.1098/rspb.2014.1202

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.1202

Abstract

Muscle tissue is a fundamentally eumetazoan attribute. The oldest evidence for fossilized muscular tissue before the Early Cambrian has hitherto remained moot, being reliant upon indirect evidence in the form of Late Ediacaran ichnofossils. We here report a candidate muscle-bearing organism, Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp., from approximately 560 Ma strata in Newfoundland, Canada. This taxon exhibits sediment moulds of twisted, superimposed fibrous bundles arranged quadrilaterally, extending into four prominent bifurcating corner branches. Haootia is distinct from all previously published contemporaneous Ediacaran macrofossils in its symmetrically fibrous, rather than frondose, architecture. Its bundled fibres, morphology, and taphonomy compare well with the muscle fibres of fossil and extant Cnidaria, particularly the benthic Staurozoa. Haootia quadriformis thus potentially provides the earliest body fossil evidence for both metazoan musculature, and for Eumetazoa, in the geological record.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2014AREP; IA68;
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume: 281
Page Range: p. 20141202
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1202
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2014 13:36
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2014 01:46
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3111

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