Ediacaran Corumbella has a cataphract calcareous skeleton with controlled biomineralization

Oses GL, Wood R, Romero GR, Evangelista Martins Prado GM, Bidola P, Herzen J, Pfeiffer F, Stampar SN, Alves Forancelli Pacheco ML (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 25

Article Number: 105676

Journal Issue: 12

DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105676


Corumbella is a terminal Ediacaran tubular, benthic fossil of debated morphology, composition, and biological affinity. Here, we show that Corumbella had a biomineralized skeleton, with a bilayered construction of imbricated calcareous plates and rings (sclerites) yielding a cataphract organization, that enhanced flexibility. Each sclerite likely possessed a laminar microfabric with consistent crystallographic orientation, within an organic matrix. Original aragonitic mineralogy is supported by relict aragonite and elevated Sr (mean = ca. 11,800 ppm in central parts of sclerites). In sum, the presence of a polarisation axis, sclerites with a laminar microfabric, and a cataphract skeletal organization reminiscent of early Cambrian taxa, are all consistent with, but not necessarily indicative of, a bilaterian affinity. A cataphract skeleton with an inferred complex microstructure confirms the presence of controlled biomineralization in metazoans by the terminal Ediacaran, and offers insights into the evolution of development and ecology at the root of the ‘Cambrian radiation’.

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Oses, G.L., Wood, R., Romero, G.R., Evangelista Martins Prado, G.M., Bidola, P., Herzen, J.,... Alves Forancelli Pacheco, M.L. (2022). Ediacaran Corumbella has a cataphract calcareous skeleton with controlled biomineralization. iScience, 25(12). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.105676


Oses, Gabriel Ladeira, et al. "Ediacaran Corumbella has a cataphract calcareous skeleton with controlled biomineralization." iScience 25.12 (2022).

BibTeX: Download