Heatherdale Shale fossil

Enigmatic fossil from the Heatherdale Shale (515 Ma): this single specimen was found ex situ over 30 years ago in Cactus Canyon, south end of Sellicks Beach (South Australia). Its age, strange features and large size (about 15 cm across) has made it difficult to assign to a particular fossil group. It is probably only a part of a large soft-bodied organism, and the proposed assignments are an oral cone of a radiodont arthropod (like Anomalocaris), a giant ctenophore, an eldonioid, a jellyfish or (much less probable) an archaeocyath.

READ: Jago et al. 2022 https://doi.org/10.1080/00288306.2022.2157846

(Text: Tory L. Botha and Diego C. García-Bellido, UofA and SAM)

Image: Diego GB. Heatherdale fossil P49419

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