A Laurentian record of the earliest fossil eukaryotes

Adam, Zachary R. and Skidmore, Mark L. and Mogk, David W. and Butterfield, Nicholas J. (2017) A Laurentian record of the earliest fossil eukaryotes. Geology, 45 (5). pp. 387-390. ISSN 0091-7613 DOI 10.1130/G38749.1

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Abstract

The oldest evidence of eukaryotes in the fossil record comes from a recurrent assemblage of morphologically differentiated late Paleoproterozoic to early Mesoproterozoic microfossils. Although widely distributed, the principal constituents of this Tappania-Dictyosphaera-Valeria assemblage have not hitherto been recognized on Laurentia. We have recovered all three taxa from a shallow-water shale succession in the early Mesoproterozoic Greyson Formation (Belt Supergroup, Montana, USA). An exceptionally preserved population of Tappania substantially expands the morphological range of this developmentally complex organism, suggesting phylogenetic placement within, or immediately adjacent to, crown-group eukaryotes. Correspondence with Tappania-bearing biotas from China, India, Australia, and Siberia demonstrates an open-ocean connection to the intracratonic Belt Basin and, along with broadly co-occurring macrofossils Grypania and Horodyskia, supports the recognition of a globally expressed biozone. The Greyson Formation, along with contiguous strata in Glacier National Park, is unique in preserving all currently confirmed taxa of early eukaryotic and macroscopic fossils.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2017AREP; IA72
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Geology
Volume: 45
Page Range: pp. 387-390
Identification Number: 10.1130/G38749.1
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 14:59
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2017 14:59
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3954

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