• Conference Materials on Diversity of Ontogenesis: Morphological, Physiological, and Genetic Aspects (Moscow, November 23–24, 2009)
  • Published:

From Vendian to Cambrian: the beginning of morphological disparity of modern metazoan phyla

Abstract

Continuity of the transition from Precambrian to the Phanerozoic metazoan fauna at the phylum level is analyzed. The discrete traces of feeding on bacterial mats by Dickinsonia and similar organisms are explained by extracorporeal digestion, characteristic of a placozoan level of organization, as in the extant Trichoplax. The absence of a morphologically developed anterior end of the body, of food-gathering appendages of any kind, and of appendages responsible for movement suggest that these animals were at this level of organization. Probably, an expanded placozoan level of organization can be assumed for most Vendian animals. Against this background, new characters emerged in the Cambrian to be included in the body plan of extant animal phyla. The relationships between the morphological archetype (body plan) and morphogenetic archetype are considered. It is shown that major features of a morphogenetic archetype could be retained from the time the taxon was formed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Arendt, Yu.A., Morskie lilii tsirtokrinidy (The Sea Lilies Cyrtocrinids), Moscow: Nauka, 1974.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Barrois, J., Development de Comatule (C. mediterranea), Recueil Zool. Suisse, 1888, vol. 4, pp. 544–551.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Behrendt, G. and Ruthmann, A., The Cytoskeleton of the Fiber Cells of Trichoplax adhaerens (Placozoa), Zoomorphology, 1986, vol. 106, pp. 123–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bottjer, D.J. and Clapham, M.E., Evolutionary Paleoecology of Ediacaran Benthic Marine Animals, in Neoproterozoic Geobiology and Paleobiology, Xiao, S. and Kaufman, A.J., Eds., New York: Springer, 2006, pp. 91–114.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Briggs D.E., Erwin, D.H., and Collier, F.J., The Fossils of the Burgess Shale, Washington, DC: Smithson. Inst. Press, 1994.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Cloud, P. and Glaessner, M.F., The Ediacarian Period and System: Metazoa Inherit the Earth, Science, 1982, vol. 217, no. 4562, pp. 783–792.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Conway Morris, S., The Cambrian “Explosion”: Slow-Fuse or Megatonnage?, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2000, vol. 97, pp. 4430–4433.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Davidson, E.H. and Erwin, D.H., Gene Regulatory Networks and the Evolution of Animal Body Plans, Science, 2006, vol. 311, pp. 796–800.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Droser, M.L., Jensen, S., and Gehling, J.G., Trace Fossils and Substrates of the Terminal Proterozoic-Cambrian Transition: Implications for the Record of Early Bilaterians and Sediment Mixing, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2002, vol. 99, pp. 12572–12576.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Fedonkin, M.A., Simonetta A., Ivantsov A.Y. New Data on Kimberella, the Vendian Mollusk-Like Organism (White Sea Region, Russia): Palaeoecological and Evolutionary Implications, in The Rise and Fall of the Ediacaran Biota, Vickers-Rich, P. and Komarower, P., Eds., London: Geolog. Soc., 2007.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Fedonkin, M.A., Besskeletnaya fauna venda i ee mesto v evolyutsii Metazoa (The Nonskeletal Vendian Fauna and Its Place in the Evolution of Metazoa), Moscow: Nauka, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Gehling, J.G., Earliest Known Echinoderm-A New Ediacaran Fossil from the Pound Subgroup of South Australia, Alcheringa, 1987, vol. 11, pp. 337–345.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Glaessner, M.F., The Dawn of Animal Life: A Biohistorical Study, Cambridge: Univ. Press, 1984.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Grazhdankin, D.V. and Ivantsov, A.Y., Reconstructions of Biotopes of Ancient Metazoan of the Late Vendian White Sea Biota, Palaeontol. J., 1996, vol. 30, pp. 674–678.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Grazhdankin, D.V. and Seilacher, A., Underground Vendobionta from Namabia, Palaeontology, 2002, vol. 45, pp. 57–78.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Grell, K.G. and Benwitz, G., Erganzende Untersuchungen zur Ultrastructur von Trichoplax adhaerens F.E. Schulze (Placozoa), Zoomorphology, 1981, vol. 98, pp. 47–67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Ivanov, A.V., The Taxonomic Position of Mesozoa, Tr. Zool. Inst. Akad. Nauk SSSR, 1983, vol. 109, pp. 76–89.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Ivanov, A.V., Trichoplax adhaerencs-A Phagocytelle-Like Animal, Zool. Zhurn., 1973, vol. 52, no. 8, pp. 1117–1130.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Ivanov, D.L., Malakhov, V.V., and Tsetlin, A.B., Fine Morphology and Ultrastructure of the Primitive Metazoan Trichoplax sp. 1. Morphology of Adult Animals and Wanderers according to Scanning Electron Microscopic Data, Zool. Zhurn., 1980, vol. 59, no. 12, pp. 1765–1767.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Ivanova-Kazas, O.M., Sravnitel’naya embriologiya bespozvonochnykh zhivotnykh. Iglokozhie i polukhordovye (Comparative Embryology of Invertebrate Animals. Echinoderms and Semichordates), Moscow: Nauka, 1978.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Ivantsov, A.Yu. and Malakhovskaya, Ya.E., Gigantic Traces of Vendian Animals, Dokl. Akad. Nauk, 2002, vol. 385, pp. 328–386.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Jefferies, R.P.S., The Ancestry of the Vertebrates, London: British Museum (Natural History), 1986.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Jenkins, G., A Review of the Frond-Like Fossils of the Ediacara Assemblage, Rec. South Austral. Museum, 1978, vol. 17, no. 23, pp. 347–359.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Malakhov, V.V. and Nezlin, L.P., Trichoplax-A Living Model of the Origin of Metazoans, Priroda (Moscow, Russ. Fed.), 1983, no. 3, pp. 32–41.

  25. Malakhov, V.V., Zagadochnye gruppy morskikh bespozvonochnykh (Intricate Groups of Marine Invertebrates), Moscow: Mosk. Gos. Univ., 1990.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Mamkaev, Yu.V., Methods and Trends in Evolutionary Morphology, in Sovremennaya evolyutsionnaya biologiya (Modern Evolutionary Biology), Kiev: Naukova Dumka, 1991, pp. 33–56.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Mamkaev, Yu.V., Comparison of Morphological Distinctions in Lower and Higher Groups of the Same Phylogenetic Stem, Zh. Obshch. Biol., 1968, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 48–56.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Narbonne, G.M., Modular Construction of Early Ediacaran Complex Life Forms, Science, 2004, vol. 305, pp. 1141–1144.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Nielsen, C., Animal Evolution: Interrelationships of the Living Phyla, Oxford: Univ. Press, 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Okshtein, I.L., To Biology of Trichoplax sp. (Placozoa), Zool. Zh., 1987, vol. 66, no. 3, pp. 339–347.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Pequignat, E., Some New Data on Skin-Digestion and Absorption in Urchins and Sea Stars (Asterias and Henricia), Marine Biol., 1972, vol. 12. pp. 28–41.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Peterson, K.J. and Davidson, E.H., Regulatory Evolution and the Origin of the Bilaterians, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2000, vol. 97, pp. 4430–4433.

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Rozanov, A.Yu., Zakonomernosti morfologicheskoi evolyutsii arkheotsiat i voprosy yarusnogo raschleneniya nizhnego kembriya (Consistent Patterns of Morphological Evolution of Archaeociates and Issues of Layered Segregation of the Lower Cambrian), Moscow: Nauka, 1973.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Rozhnov S.V., Crookedness of the Stem and Crown of Pelmatozoan Echinoderms as Resulting from Different Kinds of Heterochrony, Proc. European Conf. on Echinoderms, Milan: Balkema, 1998, pp. 385–390.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Rozhnov, S.V., Development of the Trophic Structure of Vendian and Early Paleozoic Marine Communities, Paleontol. J. 2009, vol. 43, pp. 1364–1367.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Rozhnov, S.V., Evolution of the Hardground Community, in The Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation, Zhuravlev, A.Yu. and Riding, R., Eds., New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2001, pp. 238–253.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Rozhnov, S.V., Morphogenesis and Evolution of Crinoids and Other Pelmatozoan Echinoderms in the Early Paleozoic, Paleontol. J., 2002, vol. 36,suppl.6, pp. S525–S674.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Rozhnov, S.V. and Ivantsov, A.Yu., Problems of Identification of the Vendian Echinoderms, in Trans. Int. Conf. “The Rise and Fall of the Vendian (Ediacaran) Biota. Origin of the Modern Biosphere,” Moscow: Geos, 2007, pp. 21–27.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Rozhnov, S.V., Morphological Consistent Patterns of Development and Evolution of Higher Taxa of Echinoderms, in Evolyutsionnye faktory formirovaniya raznoobraziya zhivotnogo mira (Evolutionary Factors of the Formation of the Diversity of the Animal World), Moscow: Izd. KMK, 2005, pp. 157–172.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Rozhnov, S.V., The Role of Heterochrony in the Establishment of Body Plan in Higher Echinoderm Taxa, Izv. Akad. Nauk, Ser. Biol., 2009, no. 2, pp. 155–166 [Biol. Bull. (Eng. Transl.), 2009, vol., no. 2, pp. 117–127].

  41. Rozhnov, S.V., Symmetry and Morphogenesis: Establishment of Pentametry in Echinoderms, in Problemy evolyutsionnoi morfologii zhivotnykh (Problemts of Evolutionary Morphology of Animals), St. Petersburg: S.-Peterb. Gos. Univ., 2008, Ch.1, pp. 69–89.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Rozhnov, S.V., Vavilov’s Law of Homologous Series and Archaic Diversity according to Paleontological Data, in Evolyutsiya biosfery i bioraznoobrazie (Evolution of the Biosphere and Biodiversity), Moscow: Tov. Nauch. Izd. KMK, 2006, pp. 134–146.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Seilacher, A., The Nature of Vendobionts, in The Rise and Fall of the Ediacaran Biota, Vickers-Rich, P. and Komarower, P., London: Geol. Soc., 2007, pp. 387–397.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Seilacher, A., Vendozoa: Organismic Construction in the Proterozoic Biosphere, Lethaia, 1989, vol. 22, pp. 229–239.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Seilacher, A. and Pfluger, F., From Biomats to Benthic Agriculture: a Biohistoric Revolution, in Biostabilization of Sediments, Krumbein, W.E. et al., Eds., Oldenburg: Univ. Bibliot. Informationsystem, 1994, pp. 97–105.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Sepkoski J.J., Jr., The Ordovician Radiations: Diversification and Extinction Shown by Global Genus-Level Taxonomic Data, in 7th Int. Symp. Ordovician System “Ordovician Odyssey”, Fullerton, California: Sepm, 1995, pp. 393–396.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Seravin, L.N. and Gerasimova, Z.P., Characteristics of the Fine Structure of Trichoplax adhaerens, Feeding on Solid Plant Substrates, Tsitologiya, 1998, vol. 30, pp. 1188–1193.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Seravin, L.N. and Gudkov, A.V., Trichoplax adhaerens (tip Placozoa)-odno iz samykh primitivnykh mnogokletochnykh zhivotnykh (Trichoplax adhaerens (Phylum Placozoa)—One of the Most Primitive Metazoan), St. Petersburg: Tessa, 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Seravin, L.N., The Role of Oral Processes in Feeding of the True Meduza Cyanea capillata (L.), Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSSR, 1991, vol. 321, pp. 1301–1303.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Serezhnikova, E., Bacterial Symbiosis: The Driver for Morphological Peculiarities of the Vendian Organisms?, in Abstr. Int. Geol. Congress, Oslo, 2008, p. 183.

  51. Serezhnikova E.A., Vendian Attachment Disks as Symbiotrophic Structures, in Trans. Int. Conf. “The Rise and Fall of the Vendian (Ediacaran) Biota. Origin of the Modern Biosphere”, MoscOw: Geos, 2007, Pp. 28–33.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Slyusarev, G.S., Phylum Orthonectida: Morphology, Biology, and Relationships to Other Multicellular Animals, Zhurn. Obshch. Biol., 2008, vol. 69, no. 6, pp. 403–427.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Sokolov, B.S., Vendian Complex and the Problem of the Boundary between Precambrian and Paleozoic Group, in Geologiya dokembriya (Precambrian Geology), Moscow: Nauka, 1964, pp. 135–150.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Springer, F. American Silurian Crinoids, Washington, DC: Smithson. Inst. Publ., 1926.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Valentine, J.W., On the Origin of Phyla, Chicago: Univ. Press, 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Wenderoth, H., Transepithelial Cytophagy by Trichoplax adyaerens F.E. Schulze (Placozoa) Feeding on Yeast, Z. Naturforsch., 1986, vol. 41, pp. 343–347.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Xian-Guang, H., Aldridge, R.J., Bergstrom, J., et al., The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China. The Flowering of Early Animal Life, Oxford: Blackwell Publ., 2004.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to S. V. Rozhnov.

Additional information

Original Russian Text © S.V. Rozhnov, 2010, published in Ontogenez, 2010, Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 425–437.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rozhnov, S.V. From Vendian to Cambrian: the beginning of morphological disparity of modern metazoan phyla. Russ J Dev Biol 41, 357–368 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1062360410060032

Download citation

Keywords

  • Metazoa
  • higher taxa
  • body plan
  • morphogenesis
  • origin
  • Vendian
  • Cambrian