A bangiophyte red alga from the Proterozoic of arctic Canada

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Science  05 Oct 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4977, pp. 104-107
DOI: 10.1126/science.11538072


Silicified peritidal carbonate rocks of the 1250- to 750-million-year-old Hunting Formation, Somerset Island, arctic Canada, contain fossils of well-preserved bangiophyte red algae. Morphological details, especially the presence of multiseriate filaments composed of radially arranged wedge-shaped cells derived by longitudinal divisions from disc-shaped cells in uniseriate filaments, indicate that the fossils are related to extant species in the genus Bangia. Such taxonomic resolution distinguishes these fossils from other pre-Ediacaran eukaryotes and contributes to growing evidence that multicellular algae diversified well before the Ediacaran radiation of large animals.

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