Nowe stanowisko unikatowej fauny z dolnego ordowiku Chin

Andrzej Baliński


New locality with unique Early Ordovician fauna from China.
A b s t r a c t. Majority of the palaeontological data are collected from skeletonized specimens. As a result, our perception of biodiversity in the geological past is very incomplete since most organisms did not have a mineralized skeleton, and therefore had no chance to be preserved in rock. But fortunately, there are also sporadic unusual findings (known as taphonomic windows or Konservat-Lagerstätten) with exceptional preservation of fossils material, sometimes with preserved soft tissues. Such exceptional fauna was recently discovered in the Lower Ordovician Fenxiang Formation in Xingshan county of Hubei province in China. This important fauna is represented by linguloid brachiopods with remarkably preserved pedicle, the oldest traces of nematode life activities, the oldest reliable record of hydroids, the first fossil antipatharian corals, an enigmatic clonal organism probably of pterobranch affinity and conulariid Sphenothallus revealing serially arranged sets of septa-like structures. Our discovery support claim that famous Cambrian soft-bodied faunas of Burgess- or Chengjian-type did not vanish from the fossil record in post-Cambrian strata.

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