Three-dimensional preservation of algae and animal embryos in a Neoproterozoic phosphorite

@article{Xiao1998ThreedimensionalPO,
  title={Three-dimensional preservation of algae and animal embryos in a Neoproterozoic phosphorite},
  author={Shuhai Xiao and Yun Zhang and Andrew H. Knoll},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1998},
  volume={391},
  pages={553-558}
}
Phosphorites of the late Neoproterozoic (570 ± 20 Myr BP) Doushantuo Formation, southern China, preserve an exceptional record of multicellular life from just before the Ediacaran radiation of macroscopic animals. Abundant thalli with cellular structures preserved in three-dimensional detail show that latest-Proterozoic algae already possessed many of the anatomical and reproductive features seen in the modern marine flora. Embryos preserved in early cleavage stages indicate that the divergence… 

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Putative fossil embryos and larvae from the Precambrian phosphorite rocks of the Doushantuo Formation in Southwest China have been examined in thin section and identified what appear to be modern cnidarian developmental stages, including both anthozoan planula larvae and hydrozoan embryos.

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Eumetazoan fossils in terminal proterozoic phosphorites?

  • S. XiaoX. YuanA. Knoll
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2000
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PHOSPHATIZED ANIMAL EMBRYOS FROM THE NEOPROTEROZOIC DOUSHANTUO FORMATION AT WENG'AN, GUIZHOU, SOUTH CHINA

Phosphorites of the uppermost Neoproterozoic Doushantuo Formation exposed at Weng'an, South China, contain globular microfossils characterized by distinctively sculpted outer coverings and precise patterns of cell division, which support their reinterpretation as the eggs and embryos of early animals.

Complex embryos displaying bilaterian characters from Precambrian Doushantuo phosphate deposits, Weng'an, Guizhou, China

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Fossil preservation in the Neoproterozoic Doushantuo phosphorite Lagerstatte, South China.

The same processes that gave rise to Phanerozoic phosphatized Lagerstatten--phosphatic encrustation, and impregnation, probably mediated by microbial activity--effected soft-tissue preservation in the Doushantuo Lagerstatte.
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