Nemaia Vendian Cnidarian Fossils

Nemaia simplex

Phylum Cnidaria, Class Scyphozoa (?)

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

Size: Medusoids: 12-20 mm across, Matrix: 105 mm by 104 mm

Fossil Site: White Sea Summer Coast, Archangelsk, Russia

Nemaia simplexCnidaria were some of the earliest fossils recognized as animals. This death assemblage of Vendian cnidarians (medusoids) predate the Cambrian Explosion by tens of millions of years. Many of the early attempts at diversity occurred during this late Proterozoic timeframe, and are represented in the fossil record, for example, in the Ediacara Biota of the Flinders Ranges of Australia. Many strange forms were present, some of that seem to not have any synonyms in extant animals. These jellyfish-like examples of Nemaia simplex are relatively attributable to jellyfish descendants alive today. The incredible soft-bodied preservation is believed to be the result of impressions made in a microbial mat contained within the sand, a phenomenon that is exceedingly rare in the fossil record.

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