Encyclopedia of Geobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Joachim Reitner, Volker Thiel

Small Shelly Fossils

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9212-1_271

Small shelly fossils (SSF, also “Small Shelly Fauna”) is a non-taxonomic term, first used by Matthews and Missarzhevsky in the title of their review paper in 1975, to denote the earliest skeletal fossils, although some of these fossils may not be small and most of them are actually not shells. It has been popularly used in literature somewhat as a catchall term for the early Cambrian skeletal fossils, including spicules, shells, tubes, and diverse disarticulated sclerites. See entries “ Animal Skeletons, Advent” and “ Critical Intervals in Earth History” for further reading.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011