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Possible early foraminiferans in post-Sturtian (716-635 Ma) cap carbonates

Possible early foraminiferans in post-Sturtian (716-635 Ma) cap carbonates
Possible early foraminiferans in post-Sturtian (716-635 Ma) cap carbonates
Foraminifera are an ecologically important group of modern heterotrophic amoeboid eukaryotes whose naked and testate ancestors are thought to have evolved ?1 Ga ago. However, the single-chambered agglutinated tests of these protists appear in the fossil record only after ca. 580 Ma, coinciding with the appearance of macroscopic and mineralized animals. Here we report the discovery of small, slender tubular microfossils in the Sturtian (ca. 716–635 Ma) cap carbonate of the Rasthof Formation in Namibia. The tubes are 200–1300 ?m long and 20–70 ?m wide, and preserve apertures and variably wide lumens, folds, constrictions, and ridges. Their sometimes flexible walls are composed of carbonaceous material and detrital minerals. This combination of morphologic and compositional characters is also present in some species of modern single-chambered agglutinated tubular foraminiferans, and is not found in other agglutinated eukaryotes. The preservation of possible early Foraminifera in the carbonate rocks deposited in the immediate aftermath of Sturtian low-latitude glaciation indicates that various morphologically modern protists thrived in microbially dominated ecosystems, and contributed to the cycling of carbon in Neoproterozoic oceans much before the rise of complex animals.
0091-7613
67-70
Bosak, Tanya
cf3be655-a726-450b-bef6-6f8d15113516
Lahr, Daniel J.G.
89f9e641-8446-4ff6-8f5f-3b24448c1e59
Pruss, Sara B.
1d813cda-fd13-400d-a6b6-d646edc8cdeb
Macdonald, Francis A.
ee664347-668a-4029-8a0f-b2ea7f218c99
Gooday, Andrew J.
d9331d67-d518-4cfb-baed-9df3333b05b9
Dalton, Lilly
00893fa4-e95a-4548-8266-5136c1b4e89e
Matys, Emily D.
afe3e387-a372-44f0-a4b1-636a683b900b
Bosak, Tanya
cf3be655-a726-450b-bef6-6f8d15113516
Lahr, Daniel J.G.
89f9e641-8446-4ff6-8f5f-3b24448c1e59
Pruss, Sara B.
1d813cda-fd13-400d-a6b6-d646edc8cdeb
Macdonald, Francis A.
ee664347-668a-4029-8a0f-b2ea7f218c99
Gooday, Andrew J.
d9331d67-d518-4cfb-baed-9df3333b05b9
Dalton, Lilly
00893fa4-e95a-4548-8266-5136c1b4e89e
Matys, Emily D.
afe3e387-a372-44f0-a4b1-636a683b900b

Bosak, Tanya, Lahr, Daniel J.G., Pruss, Sara B., Macdonald, Francis A., Gooday, Andrew J., Dalton, Lilly and Matys, Emily D. (2012) Possible early foraminiferans in post-Sturtian (716-635 Ma) cap carbonates. Geology, 40 (1), 67-70. (doi:10.1130/G32535.1).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Foraminifera are an ecologically important group of modern heterotrophic amoeboid eukaryotes whose naked and testate ancestors are thought to have evolved ?1 Ga ago. However, the single-chambered agglutinated tests of these protists appear in the fossil record only after ca. 580 Ma, coinciding with the appearance of macroscopic and mineralized animals. Here we report the discovery of small, slender tubular microfossils in the Sturtian (ca. 716–635 Ma) cap carbonate of the Rasthof Formation in Namibia. The tubes are 200–1300 ?m long and 20–70 ?m wide, and preserve apertures and variably wide lumens, folds, constrictions, and ridges. Their sometimes flexible walls are composed of carbonaceous material and detrital minerals. This combination of morphologic and compositional characters is also present in some species of modern single-chambered agglutinated tubular foraminiferans, and is not found in other agglutinated eukaryotes. The preservation of possible early Foraminifera in the carbonate rocks deposited in the immediate aftermath of Sturtian low-latitude glaciation indicates that various morphologically modern protists thrived in microbially dominated ecosystems, and contributed to the cycling of carbon in Neoproterozoic oceans much before the rise of complex animals.

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Published date: January 2012
Organisations: Marine Biogeochemistry

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Local EPrints ID: 208503
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/208503
ISSN: 0091-7613
PURE UUID: 80389826-0e7e-46a8-a9ef-2789a3d76726

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Date deposited: 19 Jan 2012 13:59
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:48

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Contributors

Author: Tanya Bosak
Author: Daniel J.G. Lahr
Author: Sara B. Pruss
Author: Francis A. Macdonald
Author: Andrew J. Gooday
Author: Lilly Dalton
Author: Emily D. Matys

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