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Putting the cart before the horse: An example of how the lack of taphonomical approaches can mislead paleobiological inferences for the late Ediacaran

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Becker-Kerber, Bruno [1] ; da Silva, Fernando Rodrigues [2] ; Amorim, Kamilla Borges [3] ; Alves Forancelli Pacheco, Mirian Liza [4] ; Leme, Juliana de Moraes [5]
Número total de Autores: 5
Afiliação do(s) autor(es):
[1] Univ Fed Sao Carlos, Programa Posgrad Ecol & Recursos Nat, Km 325, BR-13565905 Sao Carlos, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Fed Sao Carlos, Dept Ciencias Ambientais, LET IT BE, Joao Leme Santos SP-264, Km 110, BR-18052780 Sorocaba, Bairro Itinga - Brazil
[3] Univ Fed Mato Grosso, Fac Geociencias, BR-78068600 Cuiaba, Coxipo - Brazil
[4] Univ Fed Sao Carlos, Dept Biol, Lab Estudos Paleobiol LEPBio, Joao Leme Santos SP-264, Km 110, BR-18052780 Sorocaba, Bairro Itinga - Brazil
[5] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Geociencias, Rua Lago 562, BR-05508080 Sao Paulo - Brazil
Número total de Afiliações: 5
Tipo de documento: Artigo Científico
Fonte: Precambrian Research; v. 332, SEP 15 2019.
Citações Web of Science: 0

The arrival of animals with hard parts at the end of the Ediacaran Period was an important evolutionary innovation. Biomineralized structures serve a number of biological functions and pose environmental challenges. Those same hard parts that once played a role in living organisms also affect their postmortem histories. Taphonomic scenarios may create biases that can impact perceptions on the systematic, morphological, bios-tratigraphic, and paleogeographic patterns in the fossil record. This is well exemplified by the taxonomic controversies regarding Cloudina, the most geographically widespread and abundant shelly fossil of the uppermost Ediacaran. In this study, we discuss new taphonomic data on Cloudina-bearing strata deposits from the Tamengo Formation (Corumba Group, Brazil) and how influential this taphonomy is on a robust taxonomy of this fossil. Our observations suggest that allochthonous Cloudina deposits from the Tamengo Formation present evidence of taphonomic influences on the transporting/reworking of fragmentation and disarticulation of Cloudina tubes. Differences in size distributions between some of the localities have demonstrated that this trait is not reliable for defining or synonymizing species of Cloudina, and these differences probably reflect a myriad of taphonomic and paleobiological phenomena. Moreover, in some outcrops of the Tamengo Formation, shell walls are usually poorly preserved due to plastic deformations and diagenetic dissolution/recrystallization processes, which conceal morphological diagnostic features used in Cloudina taxonomy. Similar taphonomic biases may be of equal importance to the taxonomy of Cloudina preserved in other upper Ediacaran carbonates. Hence, earlier claims in favor of the synonymization of Cloudina species from the Tamengo Formation cannot currently be justified. (AU)

Processo FAPESP: 13/17835-8 - Estudo da Espectroscopia Raman na fossildiagênese e esqueletogênese: implicações paleoecológicas e paleoevolutivas
Beneficiário:Juliana de Moraes Leme Basso
Linha de fomento: Auxílio à Pesquisa - Regular