An epiphytacean-Girvanella (Cyanobacteria) symbiosis from the Cambrian (Series 3, Drumian) of North Greenland (Laurentia)

 

Authors: Peel JS

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 93, issue 3; pages: 327 - 336; Received 2 February 2018; Accepted in revised form 25 May 2018; Online 3 July 2018

Keywords: Cambrian, Drumian, Cyanobacteria, epiphytacean, symbiosis, North Greenland,

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Abstract

The widespread Cambrian calcareous cyanobacterium Girvanella is described in symbiotic association with a new epiphytacean, Orpikania freucheni gen. et sp. nov. (Microproblematica), from the Ekspedition Bra Formation (Cambrian Series 3, Drumian Stage) of Freuchen Land, North Greenland. The phosphatized assemblages preserve dendrites of the epiphytacean forming a supporting framework for discrete climbing filaments of Girvanella lianiformis sp. nov. that are firmly attached to their host with holdfasts. Elevation of the slender Girvanella filaments on the framework of the dendrite potentially enhanced their phototactic movement towards the light. Filaments in the co-occurring Girvanella pituutaq sp. nov. are regularly twisted together into a rope-like form which may have assisted elevation above its substrate.

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