Ediacaran metazoan reefs from the Nama Group, Namibia

A. M. Penny*, Rachel Wood, A. Curtis, F. Bowyer, R. Tostevin, K. H. Hoffman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Reef-building inmetazoans represents an important ecological innovationwhereby individuals collectively enhance feeding efficiency and gain protection from competitors and predation. The appearance of metazoan reefs in the fossil record therefore indicates an adaptive response to complex ecological pressures. In the Nama Group, Namibia, we found evidence of reef-building by the earliest known skeletal metazoan, the globally distributed Cloudina, ∼548 million years ago.These Cloudina reefs formed open frameworks without a microbial component but with mutual attachment and cementation between individuals. Orientated growth implies a passive suspension-feeding habit into nutrient-rich currents.The characteristics of Cloudina support the view that metazoan reef-building was promoted by the rise of substrate competitors and predators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1504-1506
Number of pages3
Issue number6191
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2014


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