Anatomical and ontogenetic reassessment of the Ediacaran frond Arborea arborea and its placement within total group Eumetazoa

Dunn, Frances S. and Liu, Alexander G. and Gehling, James G. and Rahman, Imran (2019) Anatomical and ontogenetic reassessment of the Ediacaran frond Arborea arborea and its placement within total group Eumetazoa. Palaeontology. ISSN 0031-0239 DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12431 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12431

Abstract

Organisms in possession of a frondose body plan are amongst the oldest and most enigmatic members of the soft‐bodied Ediacaran macrobiota. Appraisal of specimens from the late Ediacaran Ediacara Member of South Australia reveals that the frondose taxon Arborea arborea probably possessed a fluid‐filled holdfast disc, the size and form of which could vary within populations. Mouldic preservation of internal anatomical features provides evidence for tissue differentiation, and for bundles of tubular structures within the stalk of the organism. These structures connect in a fascicled arrangement to individual lateral branches, before dividing further into individual units housed on those branches. The observed fascicled branching arrangement, which seemingly connects individual units to the main body of the organism, is consistent with a biologically modular construction for Arborea, and raises the possibility of a colonial organization. In conjunction with morphological characters previously recognized by other authors, including apical‐basal and front‐back differentiation, we propose that to the exclusion of all alternative known possibilities, Arborea can be resolved as a total group eumetazoan.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2019AREP; IA75
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
07 - Gold Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Palaeontology
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12431
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 27 May 2019 15:28
Last Modified: 27 May 2019 15:30
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4500

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