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dc.contributor.authorBrain, C. K. 'Bob'
dc.contributor.authorPrave, Anthony R.
dc.contributor.authorHoffmann, Karl-Heinz
dc.contributor.authorFallick, Anthony E.
dc.contributor.authorBotha, Andre
dc.contributor.authorHerd, Donald A.
dc.contributor.authorSturrock, Craig
dc.contributor.authorYoung, Iain
dc.contributor.authorCondon, Daniel J.
dc.contributor.authorAllison, Stuart G.
dc.identifier.citationBrain , C K B , Prave , A R , Hoffmann , K-H , Fallick , A E , Botha , A , Herd , D A , Sturrock , C , Young , I , Condon , D J & Allison , S G 2012 , ' The first animals : ca. 760-million-year-old sponge-like fossils from Namibia ' , South African Journal of Science , vol. 108 , no. 1/2 , 658 .
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-4614-3774/work/64033672
dc.description.abstractOne of the most profound events in biospheric evolution was the emergence of animals, which is thought to have occurred some 600-650 Ma. Here we report on the discovery of phosphatised body fossils that we interpret as ancient sponge-like fossils and term them Otavia antiqua gen. et sp. nov. The fossils are found in Namibia in rocks that range in age between about 760 Ma and 550 Ma. This age places the advent of animals some 100 to 150 million years earlier than proposed, and prior to the extreme climatic changes and postulated stepwise increases in oxygen levels of Ediacaran time. These findings support the predictions based on genetic sequencing and inferences drawn from biomarkers that the first animals were sponges. Further, the deposition and burial of Otavia as sedimentary particles may have driven the large positive C-isotopic excursions and increases in oxygen levels that have been inferred for Neoproterozoic time.
dc.relation.ispartofSouth African Journal of Scienceen
dc.subjectQE Geologyen
dc.titleThe first animals : ca. 760-million-year-old sponge-like fossils from Namibiaen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.sponsorCarnegie Trusten
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Earth and Environmental Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. St Andrews Sustainability Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Geography and Geosciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Marine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotlanden
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. St Andrews Isotope Geochemistryen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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