Palaeobiology and evolution of the earliest agglutinated Foraminifera: Platysolenites, Spirosolenites and related forms



Tubular agglutinated fossils of Platysolenites antiquissimus Eichwald, 1860, P. cooperi n.sp. and Spirosolenites spiralis Glaessner, 1979 are examined from selected lower Cambrian successions in Avalonia (England; Wales; Newfoundland) and Baltica (Russia and Estonia). Platysolenites cooperi n.sp. is shown to extend below the first appearance of P. antiquissimus in the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian boundary stratotype region, SE Newfoundland, and to occur at higher stratigraphic levels in Wales and Finnmark. Taphonomic, teleological and ultrastructural studies on well-preserved material are consistent with a similar grade of organization and mode of life for P. antiquissimus and the living astrorhizacean foraminiferid Bathysiphon. However, agglutinated proloculi are here described from both rectilinear P. antiquissimus and coiled S. spiralis, which suggests that neither were typical astrorhizaceans.