Hypothetical life reconstruction of Ediacaran organism Rangea.
This illustration is on the cover of the January 2013 issue of the journal Paleontology and although it isn’t credited one of the authors of the paper is the excellent artist Peter Trusler so it is likely to be by him.
Reconstructing Rangea: New Discoveries from the Ediacaran of Southern Namibia by Patricia Vickers-Rich, Andrey Yu Ivantsov, Peter W. Trusler, Guy M. Narbonne, Mike Hall, Siobhan A. Wilson, Carolyn Greentree, Mikhail A. Fedonkin, David A. Elliott, Karl H. Hoffmann and Gabi I. C. Schneider. Journal of Paleontology January 2013 v. 87 no. 1 p. 1-15
The fascinating fractal frond Charnia is probably my new favorite… organism? It’s not an animal, or a plant, or a fungus, or a protist… it’s a vendobiont, I suppose.
“Determining where Ediacaran organisms fit in the tree of life has proven challenging; it is not even established that they were animals, with suggestions that they were lichens (fungus-alga symbionts), algae, protists known as foraminifera, fungi or microbial colonies, to hypothetical intermediates between plants and animals…Due to the difficulty of deducing evolutionary relationships among these organisms some paleontologists have suggested that these represent completely extinct lineages that do not resemble any living organism…If these enigmatic organisms left no descendants their strange forms might be seen as a ‘failed experiment’ in multicellular life with later multicellular life independently evolving from unrelated single-celled organisms.”
Interpretation of the origin of positive (sole casts) and negative (external molds) imprints of Yorgia on the under surface of a slab from Zimnie Gory on the White Sea shore, Russia, as death tracks. Series of imprints were left on the microbial mat by dying animal periodically changing its position and finally buried under sand. The shape of the dorsal surface of the body was fixed owing to cementation of the sand layer near its basal surface with pyrite
From: ‘Anatomical Information Content in the Ediacaran Fossils and Their Possible Zoological Affinities’ by Jerzy Dzik
“Camera lucida drawing of the holotype of Bradgatia linfordensis Boynton & Ford 1995 from the Woodhouse Beds, Maplewell Group of Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, England, compiled from laser scans with the aid of lighting from about 10 directions. Primary growth tip (Gt) at the apex of the main growth axis, and secondary branching (Sb) in the lower margins, should be noted. There are two rows (Ro, in yellow) along the axis. ‘Rangeomorph’ architecture is displayed (Dd) in 18 to 38 branches, though it is often obscured by overlapping (Ov) between branches with unfurled (Uf) margins (see Fig. 3a). The subdivisions within each row and branch typically have inclined axes that radiate (Ra), as shown at the lower right. Here, the second-order branches that lie within (variously coloured) also have radiating (Ra) sutures. The holotype is about 365 mm in length along its growth axis and 275 mm perpendicular to it. A replica of the holotype is housed in the Leicester City Museu: LEICT G26. 1994. (plastotype).”
From: Evolutionary relationships within the Avalonian Ediacara biota: new insights from laser analysis by Martin D. Brasier and Jonathan B. Antcliffe