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New siliceous microfossils from the Terreneuvian Yanjiahe Formation, South China: the possible earlist radiolarian fossil record

Shan Chang1, 2,Qinglai Feng*1, 2, Lei Zhang1
1.School of Earth Science, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China;2. State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

ABSTRACT:Radiolarians form an important part of the planktonic realm in the ocean of early Palaeozoic, but their originand evolutionary processes has long been enigmatic. The ancestral representatives of radiolarians have been considered to the order Archaeospicularia, whose unquestionable fossil records were dated back to the middle Cambrian.Here we report ?Blastulospongiaand unnamed spherical radiolarians in the Terreneuvian from the Yanjiahe Formation in Hubei province, South China.Blastulospongia is an enigmatic siliceous microfossil genus, with affinities proposed amongst the radiolarian, sphinctozoan-grade sponges and uncertain protists. As for the newly discovered unnamed radiolarians,morphologically they possess latticed shell,spherical shape and are all small in size.Our discoveriessupportthe idea thatsphericalradiolarians is an ancient representative, whose origin and diversification was probably much earlier than generally accepted; the hypothesisthat the oldest radiolarians belong to the order Archaeospicularia needs to be re-examined.

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Keywords:Cambrian, Radiolarian, ?Blastulospongia,silica-biomineralization

DOI:
10.1007/s12583-017-0960-0
CLC number:
U469.72
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