Tribrachidium heraldicum

Named for its similarity to the triskelion heraldic symbol, this small (3 – 40 mm) animal was first described from the Ediacara Member of the Rawnsley Quartzite in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. This is where the specimen scanned here originates from. It has since been found in Ukraine, Russia and India.

Tribrachidium heraldicum, a triradial spiral organism found in abundance in the Rawnsley Quartzite of South Australia and the White Sea, Russia. It’s thought to have utilised passive suspension feeding as its morphology has been shown to slow and redirect water flow in a way that particles would precipitate from the water column at the apex of the organism. Grew to about 5 cm in diameter.

Skeletal element: Negative impression
Specimen number: SAM P49267 (South Australian Museum gallery specimen)
Geological age: Ediacaran
State/territory: South Australia
Locality/site: Flinders Ranges

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

Tribrachidium heraldicum. Image: Diego Garcia-Bellido