Unusual Vendian Protomollusc Kimberella

Kimberella quadrata

Phylum Mollusca (?)

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

Size: 18 mm by 7 mm

Fossil Site: White Sea Summer Coast, Archangelsk, Russia

Kimberella quadrataDescription: This 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 Kimberella Vendian AnimalKimberella, thought by some to have had a tough shell much like modern-day molluscs. It has been found associated with Radulichnus which appears to show scrapings much like those made by the radula of a modern snail, as well as traces that may have been made as Kimberella moved along the seafloor. 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. Kimberella fossils are also found in the Ediacara Hills of Australia

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