Early Ediacaran lichen from Death Valley, California, USA


  • Gregory J. Retallack Department of Geological Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403, U.S.A.




Lichen, Nabhka, Loess, Cap carbonate, Ediacaran, California


Enigmatic tubestones from the basal Ediacaran Noonday Formation of southern California have been interpreted as fluid escape structures or as stromatolites in a “cap carbonate”, created by marine precipitation at the termination of Snowball Earth glaciation. However, doubts about this interpretation stem from permineralized organic structures within the tubes with hyphae and attached spheroidal cells, and thallus organization comparable with lichens. These “tubestones” are here named Ganarake scalaris gen. et sp. nov. The fungus was aseptate as in Mucoromycota and Glomeromycota, and the spheroidal photobiont has the size and isotopic composition of a chlorophyte alga. The tubes are most like modern window lichens (shallow subterranean lichens) and formed nabkhas (vegetation–stabilized dunes) of a loess plateau comparable in thickness and extent with the Chinese Loess Plateau of Gansu. Loess paleosols of three different kinds are recognized in the Noonday Formation from geochemical, petrographic, and granulometric data. The Noonday Formation was not a uniquely Neoproterozoic marine whiting event, but calcareous loess like the Peoria Loess of Illinois and the Chinese Loess Plateau of Gansu.


दक्षिणी कैलिफोर्निया के निचले एडियाकरन नूनडे शैलसमूह से अज्ञात ट्यूबस्टोन की एक "कैप कार्बोनेट" में द्रव पलायन संरचनाओं या स्ट्रोमेटोलाइट्स के रूप में व्याख्या की गई है जो कि स्नोबॉल अर्थ हिमाच्छादन की समाप्ति पर समुद्री वर्षा द्वारा निर्मित हुए। हालांकि,  इस व्याख्या के बारे में संदेह, हायफी और संलग्न गोलाकार कोशिकाओं के साथ ट्यूबों के भीतर अश्मीकृत कार्बनिक संरचनाओं से उपजा है और थैलस संगठन लाइकेन के साथ तुलनीय है। इन "ट्यूबस्टोन" को यहाँ गनारके स्केलेरिस नव कुल नव प्रजाति नाम दिया गया है। कवक म्योकोरोमाइकोटा और ग्लोमेरोमाइकोटा  के समान अकोष्ठीय और गोलाकार फोटोबियोन्ट की माप और समस्थानिक संरचना क्लोरोफाइट शैवाल जैसी है। ट्यूब अधिकांशतः आधुनिक विंडो लाइकेन (उथले भूमिगत लाइकेन) की तरह हैं और लोएस पठार के नबखास (वनस्पति-स्थिर टीले) बनाते हैं जो कि मोटाई और विस्तार  में गांसु के चीनी लोएस पठार के तुल्य हैं । भू-रासायनिक, पेट्रोग्राफिक और ग्रैनुलोमेट्रिक आलेखों से नूनडे शैलसमूह में तीन अलग-अलग प्रकार के लोएस पेलिओसॉल की पहचान की गई है।  नूनडे शैलसमूह एक विशिष्ट नियोप्रोटीरोज़ोइक समुद्री श्वेत घटना नहीं था, लेकिन इलिनॉयस के पियोरिया लोएस और गांसु के चीनी लोएस पठार की तरह चूनामय लोएस था।


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How to Cite

Retallack, G. J. (2022). Early Ediacaran lichen from Death Valley, California, USA. Journal of Palaeosciences, 71(2), 187–218. https://doi.org/10.54991/jop.2022.1841



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