Environmental and diagenetic controls on the morphology and calcification of the Ediacaran metazoan Cloudina

Amy Shore, Rachel Wood
2021 Scientific Reports  
AbstractCloudina is a globally distributed Ediacaran metazoan, with a tubular, funnel-in-funnel form built of thin laminae (ca. 1–10 μm). To what degree local environmental controlled morphology, and whether early diagenesis controlled the degree of calcification of Cloudina, is debated. Here we test these hypotheses by considering assemblages from four, coeval localities from the Upper Omkyk Member, Nama Group, Namibia, from inner ramp to mid-ramp reef across the Zaris Subbasin. We show that
more » ... nuosity of the Cloudina tube is variable between sites, as is the relative thickness of the tube wall, suggesting these features were environmentally controlled. Walls are thickest in high-energy reef settings, and thinnest in the low-energy, inner ramp. While local diagenesis controls preservation, all diagenetic expressions are consistent with the presence of weakly calcified, organic-rich laminae, and lamina thicknesses are broadly constant. Finally, internal 'cements' within Cloudina are found in all sites, and pre-date skeletal breakage, transport, as well as syn-sedimentary botryoidal cement precipitation. Best preservation shows these to be formed by fine, pseudomorphed aragonitic acicular crystals. Sr concentrations and Mg/Ca show no statistically significant differences between internal Cloudina cements and botryoidal cements, but we infer all internal cements to have precipitated when Cloudina was still in-situ and added considerable mechanical strength, but may have formed post-mortem or in abandoned parts of the skeleton.
doi:10.1038/s41598-021-90768-5 pmid:34117286 fatcat:dbja5l2uobh5dnnhr6ybknpate