Paper No. 104-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM
TREATISE OF INVERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY: A VOLUME DEDICATED TO PROKARYOTES
Over the years, prokaryote fossil systematics in paleontology has been discussed off and on. The question also was whether prokaryotes belonged in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology or not. Prokaryotes dominated the Precambrian, especially of course the older parts. With Precambrian paleontology and geobiology immensely rising, it was timely for the Treatise to develop a volume dedicated to prokaryotes. This first volume starts out by introducing biofilms and microbial mats, highly complex communities of microorganisms that closely interact with each other and their environment. Whereas individual prokaryote cells may be preserved as carbonaceous matter in chert, entire biofilm communities are expressed as microbialites. Of these, the carbonate stromatolites are prominent examples. Biofilms and mats also contributed to the enormous amounts quantities of Banded Iron Formations (BIFs), to date the most important ore deposits in the world. Where mats develop in clastic settings of little to no mineral precipitation, microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) represent the microbialite spectrum. Microbial mats, microbialites, and BIFs constitute large structures, but they may include myriads of microfossils of the ancient structure-formers. Whereas this volume serves the introduction of this topic, future work will contribute to additional volumes focusing on more details.
Selden, P., Ausich, W., and authors (2022): Treatise of Invertebrate Paleontology, Prokaryota , Number 162, Part B, Volume 2, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.