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Symbiotic fouling of Vetulicola, an early Cambrian nektonic animal

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posted on 23.11.2020, 14:42 by Yujing Li, Mark Williams, Tom Harvey, Fan Wei, Yang Zhao, Jin Guo, Sarah Gabbott, Tom Fletcher, Xianguang Hou, Peiyun Cong
Here, we report the earliest fossil record to our knowledge of surface fouling by aggregates of small vermiform, encrusting and annulated tubular organisms associated with a mobile, nektonic host, the enigmatic Cambrian animal Vetulicola. Our material is from the exceptionally preserved early Cambrian (Epoch 2, Age 3), Chengjiang biota of Yunnan Province, southwest China, a circa 518 million-year old marine deposit. Our data show that symbiotic fouling relationships between species formed a component of the diversification of animal-rich ecosystems near the beginning of the Phanerozoic Eon, suggesting an early escalation of intimate ecologies as part of the Cambrian animal radiation.

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Citation

Communications Biology, 3, 517 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01244-1

Author affiliation

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment. Centre for Palaeobiology Research.

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Communications Biology

Volume

3

Issue

517

Publisher

Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)

issn

2399-3642

Acceptance date

09/08/2020

Copyright date

2020

Available date

18/09/2020

Language

en

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