Microdictyon plates from the lower Cambrian Ajax Limestone of South Australia: Implications for species taxonomy and diversity
2011 (English)In: Alcheringa, ISSN 0311-5518, Vol. 35, no 3, 427-443 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A small assemblage of isolated Microdictyon plates is described from the lower Cambrian Ajax Limestone, Mt Scott Range (Flinders Ranges), South Australia. Microdictyon plates are primarily known from single, isolated, perforated phosphatic sclerites; only one species (M. sinicum) from the Chengjiang Lagerstatte is known from soft-bodied preservation of the complete organism. The isolated plates from South Australia display a wide range of morphologies potentially reflecting: 1, considerable diversification within the group at this time; 2, extensive intraspecific morphological variation; 3, different plate morphotypes along the trunk of the animal; or 4, significant ontogenetic variation in successive growth stages. The South Australian specimens are similar to several individual sclerites described from other Cambrian palaeocontinents, but appear closest to faunas described from South China. Problems associated with the taxonomy of isolated Microdictyon plates are discussed, including the lack of knowledge associated with intraspecific and/or ontogenetic variability and how individual plate morphology may relate to size or relative position along the length of the complete organism.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 35, no 3, 427-443 p.
stem group lobopodians, small shelly fossils, sclerites, Ajax Limestone, Flinders Ranges, Gondwana
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172196DOI: 10.1080/03115518.2011.533972ISI: 000299422600009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172196DiVA: diva2:513603