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Ma et al., 2022

Bryozoans from the Early Ordovician Fenhsiang Formation (Tremadocian) of South China and the early diversification of the phylum

Ma, J., Taylor, P. D., Buttler, C. J., Xia, F.
AjakiriThe Science of Nature
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Although phosphatized bryozoans have been described recently from the early Cambrian, the first unequivocal bryozoan fossils with hard skeletons are known from the Ordovician. Recent discoveries of bryozoans in the early Ordovician (Tremadocian) of South China have greatly expanded our understanding of the diversification of these colonial lophophorates. In particular, the Fenhsiang Formation of Late Tremadocian age (Migneintian) in Hubei Province is proving to be particularly rich in bryozoans. Here we record 24 species, including several yet to be formally described, belonging to 18 genera and four palaeostomate suborders (Esthonioporata, Cystoporata, Trepostomata, and Cryptostomata). Bryozoan diversity in the Fenhsiang Formation matches levels more typical of younger faunas of Middle Ordovician age. The presence of diverse and morphologically disparate taxa close to the base of the Ordovician suggests rapid diversification following the first appearance of bryozoans with calcified skeletons, and/or the existence of as yet unknown biomineralized bryozoans in the Cambrian.

Viimati muudetud: 30.6.2022
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