First evidence for locomotion in the Ediacara biota from the 565 Ma Mistaken Point Formation, Newfoundland

Alexander G. Liu*, Duncan McIlroy, Martin D. Brasier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Evidence for locomotion in the Precambrian fossil record is scant. Reliable Ediacaran trace fossils are all younger than 560 Ma, and consist of relatively simple horizontal burrows and trails from shallow-water deposits. Here we describe an assemblage of macroscopic locomotory traces from deep-water environments at Mistaken Point, southeastern Newfoundland, Canada, dated to ca. 565 Ma. These trails extend the record of complex trace fossils back into the earliest Avalonian biota. Our new evidence for large motile organisms on the seafloor at this time suggests that at least some of these early Ediacaran organisms, whose biological affinities are widely debated, could have been muscular and of metazoan grade.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-126
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010

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