One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- ‘The early Cambrian fossil record is characterized by unique skeletal assemblages that include the spongelike archaeocyathans and a number of mostly problematic small skeletal elements, known collectively as small shelly fossils.’
- ‘These differences, including the apparent absence of skeletal lamination in the small shelly fossils, suggest that assessments of the phylogenetic affinities of conulariids should also consider microstructural characters.’
- ‘Certainly the Cambrian record is deeply biased in favour of shelly fossils, as revealed by the exceptionally preserved Burgess Shale and Chengjiang biotas, where the vast majority of taxa and individuals were non-biomineralizing.’
- ‘In addition to typical Ediacaran taxa, such as the cosmopolitan Pteridinium, the shelly fossil Cloudina first appears slightly below the earliest Ediacaran fossils, extends throughout the Ediacaran range, and into the Cambrian.’
- ‘This reasoning is used here to hypothesize about the body plans of the oldest animals, which were not represented in the Ediacaran biota or among the earliest Cambrian ‘small shelly fossils.’’
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