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The role of volcanic-derived clays in the preservation of Ediacaran biota from the Itajaí Basin (ca. 563 Ma, Brazil)

Abstract : The early evolution of metazoans has been reconstructed by studies on exceptionally preserved molds in siliciclastic rocks from the Ediacaran Period. However, there remains considerable controversy regarding the formation mechanisms of this unusual ‘Ediacaran-style’ preservation. Proposed hypotheses usually include early authigenesis of minerals, but evidence for this is scarce. In a recently discovered deposit of Ediacaran biota in Brazil, we show that the classic moldic preservation is related to clay mineral authigenesis. Specifically, these clays originated from the alteration of original pyroclastic sediments, likely enhanced by microbial activity, leading to early illitization and morphological templating of the fossiliferous surfaces at a micrometric scale. Such high-fidelity preservation was made possible by rapid burial during volcanic events and the in-situ templating of tissue by clays via microbially-mediated mineralization. This newly described Lagerstätte demonstrates that a number of minerals can facilitate preservation, and that perhaps ‘Ediacaran-style’ preservation result from different processes leading to the same broad style of preservation.
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Contributor : Nathalie Pothier <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 10:02:27 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 30, 2021 - 3:22:20 AM
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Bruno Becker-Kerber, Abderrazak El Albani, Kurt Konhauser, Ahmed Abd Elmola, Claude Fontaine, et al.. The role of volcanic-derived clays in the preservation of Ediacaran biota from the Itajaí Basin (ca. 563 Ma, Brazil). Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-021-84433-0⟩. ⟨insu-03211875⟩



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