Ediacaran Fauna


dickinsonia.jpg (51504 bytes) This is a fossil impression called Dickinsonia, known from Vendian rocks of south Australia and north Russia. It is often considered to be an annelid worm because of its apparent similarity to one genus of extant polychaetes, Spinther. However, in the opinion of some, it may in fact be a cnidarian polyp (jellyfish-like), like a soft-bodied version of the "banana coral," Fungia.


eoporpita.gif (138821 bytes) This fossil impression, called Eoporpita is one of the most striking Vendian fossils, noted for its thick tentacles surrounding a central body. This specimen is nearly 6 cm across and was found at the Winter Coast of the White Sea (Russia); other specimens have come from south Australia. Until recently, Eoporpita was thought to be a chondrophorine (pelagic [swimming-floating], jellyfish-like creatures), but some researchers now doubt this interpretation of Eoporpita and consider it to have been a benthic polyp rather like a sea anemone.

Some jellyfish impressions from Wisconsin.