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Pellet microfossils: Possible evidence for metazoan life in Early Proterozoic time.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16593599     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Microfossils resembling fecal pellets occur in acid-resistant residues and thin sections of Middle Cambrian to Early Proterozoic shale. The cylindrical microfossils average 50 x 110 mum and are the size and shape of fecal pellets produced by microscopic animals today. Pellets occur in dark gray and black rocks that were deposited in the facies that also preserves sulfide minerals and that represent environments analogous to those that preserve fecal pellets today. Rocks containing pellets and algal microfossils range in age from 0.53 to 1.9 gigayears (Gyr) and include Burgess Shale, Greyson and Newland Formations, Rove Formation, and Gunflint Iron-Formation. Similar rock types of Archean age, ranging from 2.68 to 3.8 Gyr, were barren of pellets. If the Proterozoic microfossils are fossilized fecal pellets, they provide evidence of metazoan life and a complex food chain at 1.9 Gyr ago. This occurrence predates macroscopic metazoan body fossils in the Ediacaran System at 0.67 Gyr, animal trace fossils from 0.9 to 1.3 Gyr, and fossils of unicellular eukaryotic plankton at 1.4 Gyr.
Authors:
E I Robbins; K G Porter; K A Haberyan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  82     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  1985 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-30     Completed Date:  2010-07-02     Revised Date:  2010-09-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5809-13     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
U.S. Geological Survey, National Center MS 956, Reston, VA 22092.
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