Precambrian Carbonaceous Megafossils

  • H. J. Hofmann


Carbonaceous compressions have been known for more than a century from rocks now considered pre-Cambrian. They include remains with regular rounded outlines, as well as irregular angulate fragments, and ribbon-like films (Fig. 1), all usually preserved on bedding planes in fine-grained clastic rocks, and most showing some wrinkling due to compaction. Only the youngest Proterozoic ones have primarily longitudinal and punctate markings with biologic function. The fossils range in age from the Early Proterozoic (2 Ga) into the Phanerozoic, and their geographic distribution includes all continents except South America and Africa (Figs. 2 and 3). The most ancient known megascopic compressions are millimetric films from black shales in Aphebian rocks of North America (localities 12–14 in Fig. 2).


Black Shale Lower Cambrian East European Platform Geol Surv Akad Nauk SSSR 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Hofmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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