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A problematic animal fossil from the early Cambrian Hetang Formation, South China—A reply

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 September 2019

Qing Tang
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA ,
Jie Hu
Affiliation:
CNPC International (Chad) Co. Ltd., N'djamena, Chad
Guwei Xie
Affiliation:
Institute of Exploration, Development and Research of PetroChina Company Limited Changqing Oilfield Branch, Xi'an 710018, China National Engineering Laboratory for Exploration and Development of Low-permeability Oil & Gas Fields, Xi'an 710018, China
Xunlai Yuan
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China , University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
Bin Wan
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Center for Excellence in Life and Paleoenvironment, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China ,
Chuanming Zhou
Affiliation:
CAS Key Laboratory of Economic Stratigraphy and Palaeogeography, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
Xu Dong
Affiliation:
Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA ,
Guohua Cao
Affiliation:
Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA ,
Bruce S. Lieberman
Affiliation:
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
Sally P. Leys
Affiliation:
Department of Biology Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
Shuhai Xiao*
Affiliation:
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA ,
*
*Corresponding author

Abstract

We recently reported Cambrowania ovata Tang and Xiao in Tang et al., 2019, from the early Cambrian Hetang Formation in South China and interpreted it as a problematic animal fossil, possibly related to either sponges or bivalved arthropods (Tang et al., 2019). Slater and Budd (2019) contested our taxonomic identification and phylogenetic interpretation; instead, they claimed that Cambrowania ovata is a large acritarch referable to morphotaxon Leiosphaeridia Eisenack, 1958, and thus is not an animal. Here we refute their criticisms, clarify the differences between Cambrowania and Leiosphaeridia and other acritarchs, and reiterate why an animal affinity for Cambrowania cannot be ruled out.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2019, The Paleontological Society 

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