Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Precambrian Sponges with Cellular Structures

The remains of sponges have been identified in the Doushantou phosphate deposits in central Guizhou of Early Vendian [Ediacaran] age, which has been darted to -580 Ma, the skeletons consisting of siliceous monaxonal spicules, and all have been referred to the Porifera, class Demospongiae. Included among preserved soft tissue are epidermis, porocytes, amoebocytes, sclerocytes and spongocoel. A parenchymella-type of sponge larvae with a shoe-shaped morphology and dense peripheral flagella have been found among thousands of metazoan embryos. The calcareous sponges are suggested to have possibly had an extended history in the late Precambrian by the presence of amphiblastula larva. Animals are indicated to have lived 40-50 My before the Cambrian Explosion.

Sources and further reading

  1. Li, Chia-Wei, Jun-Yuan Chen, and Tzu-En Hua. "Precambrian Sponges with Cellular Structures." Science 279, no. 5352 (February 6, 1998 1998): 879-82.
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last Updated 12/02/2014
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