Radiolarian fauna from the Chiungchussuan Shuijingtuo Formation (Cambrian Series 2) in Western Hubei Province, South China

  • Qiangfen Ma
  • Qinglai FengEmail author
  • Wenchao Cao
  • Lei Zhang
  • Yan Ye
  • Songzhu Gu
Research Paper


Little is known regarding characteristics and evolution of radiolarian fossils in the early Cambrian due to its rarity and poor preservation. Here we report a new radiolarian fauna from the Cambrian Shuijingtuo Formation corresponding to the Chiungchussuan Stage (Cambrian Series 2) in western Hubei, China. It contains over 300 radiolarian tests and these fossils belong to 4 morphotypes, including Paraantygopora porosa sp. nov., Braunosphaera sinensis sp. nov., Tetrasphaera? sp. and incertae spherical radiolarians. In taxonomy, Spumellaria predominates in the fauna and comprises 92% of the total. In shell structure, about 73% of all specimens are similar to the early Ordovician radiolarian fossils, with the shell walls characterized by perforated plate structures. The spherical radiolarians with latticed shells constitute another feature of the early Cambrian radiolarian fauna. The radiolarian fauna reported here contains many fossil specimens and covers different taxonomical taxa. These specimens usually consist of distinctive concentric multi-layers with complex structure. These characteristics indicate that Radiolaria had already thrived during the Cambrian Chiungchussuan Stage (Series 2, Stage 3), which may have occurred synchronously with the explosion and prosperity of macrobiota recorded in the strata deposited in shallower water condition.


Cambrian Series 2 Radiolaria Taxonomy Evolution South China Cambrian explosion 


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We express our sincere thanks to Prof. Jonathan C. Aitchison from University of Queensland, Dr. Noritoshi Suzuki from Tohoku University for constructive discussions in radiolarian taxonomy, and Prof. Yang Qin, Dr. Zhang Muhui for help with the SEM and Micro-CT analysis in China University of Geosciences. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41430101).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiangfen Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qinglai Feng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wenchao Cao
    • 2
  • Lei Zhang
    • 2
  • Yan Ye
    • 2
  • Songzhu Gu
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Earth ScienceChina University of GeoscienceWuhanChina

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