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Archaeocyathid possibly the genus Atikokania sp. from the Lower Cambrian of Australia. Bruce Stinchcomb has a figure (3-26) in his book Worlds Oldest Fossils. Archaeocyathids are most likely a form related to an extinct kingdom separate from either our current animal or plant kingdoms. This specimen was acid etched and cast to show top and side views of the structure.
The Vendian marks the first appearance of a group of large fossils collectively known as the "Vendian biota" or "Ediacara fauna." The question of what these fossils are is still not settled to everyone's satisfaction; at various times they have been considered algae, lichens, giant protozoans, or even a separate kingdom of life unrelated to anything living today. Some of these fossils are simple blobs that are hard to interpret and could represent almost anything. Some are most like cnidarians, worms, or soft-bodied relatives of the arthropods. Others are less easy to interpret and may belong to extinct phyla. But besides the fossils of soft bodies, Vendian rocks contain trace fossils, probably made by wormlike animals slithering over mud.
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