Revisiting the phosphorite deposit of Fontanarejo (central Spain): new window into the early Cambrian evolution of sponges and into the microbial origin of phosphorites
Fossils within early Cambrian phosphorites worldwide are often well preserved due to early diagenetic permineralization. Here, we examine the fossil record contained within phosphorites of the Lower Cambrian Pusa Formation (late Fortunian to Cambrian Stage 2) in Fontanarejo, central Spain. The sedimentology and age of these phosphorites have been controversial and are here reviewed and discussed, providing also a updated geological map. The Pusa Formation is composed of fine clastic sediments that are partly turbiditic, with channels of quartz-rich conglomerates and abundant phosphorites in the upper part of the succession. The microfacies and mineralogy of these channel deposits are studied here for the first time in detail, showing that they are mainly composed of subspherical apatite clasts, with minor mudstone intraclasts, quartzite and mica grains. Numerous sponge spicules, as well as entirely preserved hexactinellid sponges and demosponges, were collected within these phosphorites and likely represent stem groups. In addition to sponges, other fossils, such as small shelly fossils (SSF) of the mollusk Anabarella sp., were found. The phosphorites exhibit multiple evidence of intense microbial activity, including diverse fabrics (phosphatic oncoidal-like microbialites, thrombolites, stromatolites, and cements) and abundant fossils of filamentous microbes that strongly resemble sulfur oxidizing bacteria. Our findings strongly suggest that microbial processes mediated the rapid formation of most of the Fontanarejo apatite, probably accounting for the exceptional preservation of fragile fossils such as sponge skeletons. The apparent presence of taxonomically diverse hexactinellid and demosponge communities by the lowermost Cambrian further corroborates a Precambrian origin of the phylum Porifera
- Downloaded 466 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 81,576
- In paleontology: 143
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 25,257
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 131,531
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!