Enigmatic encrusting fossils from the Upper Devonian of Russia: probable Rothpletzella microproblematica preserved in three dimensions

Journal article
(Original article)


Publication Details

Author(s): Zatoń M, Jarochowska E
Journal: Historical Biology
Publication year: 2018
ISSN: 0891-2963


Abstract

Intriguing microfossils encrusting certain Upper Devonian brachiopod
shells from the Central Devonian Field, Russia, are reported for the
first time. The fossils are pyritized, have fan-shaped morphologies and
are formed by tightly-packed branches which divide dichotomously at
different points in their development. The organisms preserved grew
horizontally on shelly substrates. Comparisons with similar fossils
known from the literature indicate that they do not represent any animal
taxon commonly encrusting hard substrates. Instead, the morphology,
organization and growth mode of these fossils are most similar to
microfossils known under the name Rothpletzella, which so far have only been known from thin sections. Rothpletzella
is a problematicum for which algal affinities have been proposed. The
preserved branches of the fossils described here are too large for
cyanobacterial cells. Their large size suggests their placement, along
with other described Rothpletzella fossils, within the green
algae order Bryopsidales. It is suggested that originally, these
organisms possessed thalli encased within a thin, delicate calcified
sheath. After burial the thalli underwent pyritization via sulphate
reduction mediated by bacterial activity within low pH, dysoxic
microenvironment, and their sheath dissolved. As three-dimensionally
preserved, these algae provide a new, previously unrecognized, component
within the Devonian encrusting communities.


FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Jarochowska, Emilia Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Paläoumwelt


How to cite

APA:
Zatoń, M., & Jarochowska, E. (2018). Enigmatic encrusting fossils from the Upper Devonian of Russia: probable Rothpletzella microproblematica preserved in three dimensions. Historical Biology. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2018.1539972

MLA:
Zatoń, Michał, and Emilia Jarochowska. "Enigmatic encrusting fossils from the Upper Devonian of Russia: probable Rothpletzella microproblematica preserved in three dimensions." Historical Biology (2018).

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2018-14-11 at 11:08