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Anemones wandering around in the Precambrian deep?

on . Posted in Published

A couple of years ago Alex Liu found some remarkable trails in the Mistaken Point Formation, just above the E surface which houses so many beautiful Ediacaran body fossils.

What is so remarkable about finding trails? 

Well authenticated trace fossils are not known from rocks of this age (565 Million years ago).

There is little evidence that Ediacaran macrofossils could move.

We consider that the trails would have required muscular action to be formed (following an experimental ichnological study in the MUN ichnology aquaria).  As such we think they are the trails of an animal, possibly an anemone.

The macrofaunal elements of the Ediacara fauna are not generally thought to be animals...This has significant potential implications for the ecological context for the evolution of animal life.

Liu, A.G., McIlroy, D. & Brasier, M.D. 2010. First evidence for locomotion in the Ediacara biota from the 565 Ma Mistaken Point Formation, Newfoundland.  Geology, 38, 123-126.

see also

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18479-found-the-first-ever-animal-trails.html