Late Precambrian and Early Cambrian Metazoa: Preservational or Real Extinctions?

  • A. Seilacher
Part of the Dahlem Workshop Reports Physical, Chemical, and Earth Sciences Research Reports book series (DAHLEM, volume 5)


The interpretation of Ediacara-type body fossils in terms of modern soft-bodied metazoans must be questioned. Their morphology rather suggests foliate, non-locomotory quasi-autotrophs. Their mode of preservation, which has no counterpart in comparable post-Vendian rocks, remains problematical, since associated trace fossils attest to oxic conditions and the presence of worm-like heterotrophic burrowers in the same environment. It seems that Vendian biota mark not simply a non-skeletal start of metazoan evolution, but a distinct episode in the history of life that was followed by a major extinction.


Trace Fossil Metazoan Evolution Body Fossil Mineralized Skeleton Major Extinction 
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Copyright information

© Dr. S. Bernhard, Dahlem Konferenzen 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Seilacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Geologisches Institut der Universität TübingenTübingenGermany

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