Dickinsonia Vendian Fossil

From Russian White Sea Summer Coast

Dickinsonia sp.

Geological Time: Precambrian, Vendian (600 - 550 Million Years Old)

Size: 16 mm X 14 mm

Fossil Site: White Sea Summer Coast, Archangelsk, Russia

DickinsoniaThis spectacular specimen of early life predates the Cambrian Explosion by tens of millions of years. Many early attempts at diversity were present during this time, both here and in the Ediacara Fauna of the Flinders Ranges of Australia. Many strange forms were present, some of which still do not have any parallels in modern times. This one is known as Dickinsonia, and is found in Vendian (Ediacaran) deposits of both Russia and Australia. While once thought to be an annelid, it may also be interpreted as a Cnidarian similar to the modern-day Fungia. Whatever its true identity, it has been assigned to the Vendozoa, a group of animals that existed prior to the better-known Cambrian Explosion. The incredible soft-bodied preservation is believed to be the result of impressions made in a microbial mat contained within the sand.

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