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EDIACARAN-LIKE FOSSILS IN CAMBRIAN BURGESS SHALE-TYPE FAUNAS OF NORTH AMERICA by SIMON CONWAY MORRIS ‘Ansraacr. A number of fossils from the Stephen Formation (Burges Shale, Middle Cambrian, British Columbia) and Parr Slate (Lower Canbran, Vermont) reeble Edicaran taxa, Thaumapton walot {en-clap. ov, known from three specimens, consists ofa broad frond bearing a cetral rachis fom hich frie tranches bearing posable soon. The oldfat i elatively elongate end sigh swollen. T. halo! Approaches cosly a tumber of Ediacaran frond-ike forals, especialy Chyniodacu, Vain and ‘Mhaiyspyia. Al these axa appear to be penatulsean anthowcans (Cnidaria), Mackenca cosas Wale Knows from about seventy spasimens, ian elongate bag-lke organism. Theexterior was probally throwa into ongtudinal folds andthe interior may have borne septa. Attachment to the abe i ndeated by holds ‘of eocinoid stems and brachiopod/sponge spicule aggregations, Ml cers may be compared to reveral Euincaran tna including Inorg, Protchurat and povsbly Pltyphofina. The aise of M. costs are tavertain, bat place within lhe achinarian antboroans sems posible and this animal probably had ‘hidariangrade of organization, Enmnonsapis camtvenni (Walco), long interpreted 384 possible chords, ir snown tobe frond-like foe wth angled branches arising fFom the mine No trace af a holst exsts ‘nay ofthe tee specimen. E-cambrenus resembles a numberof Fdiaaran Trond fess, but similarities to tana suchas Prordnian may be superiia. The te remaining axa are known from only singe spins. Galenopiontontacaltum gen, ets. Dov, Orginal deserted by Walcot as Redoubla polyp (pars), tentatively Interpreted as 4 chondrophorine, with evidence for a foat and tetacular margin. A unique Specimen consisting ofa dis: with anal apd tentaces regarded as another ype of ehondrophorie. lc occurs inassciation with. corals. The description of thes animals as hold-overs rom the Ediacaran assemblages ‘ists some doubt on the general validity’ of Salacher’s concept of Ediscaran tna representing a distinctive bod-plan, known asthe Vendobionta, seperate fom the metazoan ‘Tue identity and coherence of the Vendian atest Proterozoic) soft-bodied Ediacaran faunasis now ‘wellestablished (eg. Glaessner 1984; Conway Morris 1985, 1990; Fedonkin 1987), With one Possible exception (Hofmann eta 1990), where tite are present in the same sections (and they ‘often are), the Ediacaran faunas lie above these glacial deposits. The age of the Ediacaran faunas Temains somewhat uncertain, Glaessner (1988) proposed an approximate range of $50/S70- (650/660 Myr, although the apparently reliable date of 565-3 Myr obtained from zircons in am ash- fall that smothered an Ediaeatan fauna in southeast Newfoundland (Benus 1988, sce also Jenkins 1989) suggests that as a whole Ediaceran faunas may fall towards the younger end of Glaessne's (1984) spectrum of ages, Such dates are also consistent with new evidence indicating that the Procantria- Cambria boundary ely Co be oder than about 540 My (e Compson et 1982). Ediacaran assemblages consistently underlie strata with Cambrian shelly fossils and a diversity of trace fossils that includes Pkyeodes pedum (se Narbonne and Myrow 1988). In many areas of the world Une Vendian-Cambrian sections have unconformities and/or dstinetive facies (ex. uval or peritidal) that separate the last appearances of Ediacaran taxa andthe fist appearances of shelly {axa and/or Cambrian-type trace fossis. Ina few sections, however, there appears to be a greater degree of continuity in Tock record and facies suitable for fossil preservation. Most notable, perhaps isa section in the Wernecke Mountains of northwest Canada where an interval above the Pang, VL 36, Pat 3 RP. 9-65, © The Pattee Amwcitive oe PALAEONTOLOGY, VOLUME 36 Jast appearance of Edacaran taxa is devoid ofall excop milimetrc trace Foss despite what appear 1 be facies that were appropriate for Ediaearan style preservation (see Narbonne and Hofmann 1987). What may represent 4 similar state of affairs was documented by Sokoloy and Fedonkin (1984, 1985) in the clastic sequences of the east European platform and the carbonate sections of ‘northern Siberia, where the Ediacaran assemblages are separated from the onset of the Cambrian, faunas by a pooriy fossiiferous interval. Its clear also that with certain key exceptions, many of which are discussed below, Edigcaran components are effectively absent from Cambrian assemblages. ‘There are broadly two explanations for the disappearance of Ediacaran faunas. The first proposes