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1400-million-year-old shale-facies microbiota from the lower belt supergroup, montana.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Publication Date
Volume
199
Issue
4329
Pages
682–684
Identifiers
PMID: 17788118
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Carbonaceous shales of the Middle Proterozoic Newland Limestone, Belt Supergroup, Little Belt Mountains, Montana, contain abundant and well-preserved filamentous and spheroidal microfossils. The filamentous forms, ranging from less than 1 to 12 micrometers in width, are interpreted as representing the preserved sheaths of at least four species of nostocalean cyanophytes. The spheroidal forms, ranging from 15 to 108 micrometers in size, are evidently planktonic forms and are tentatively interpreted as representing the encystment stage of eukaryotic algae. The Newland microbiota is adaptable to petrographic thin-section work, and useful for evaluating the potential of such microfossils for intercontinental biostratigraphic correlation. It is the oldest shale-facies microbiota presently known from North America.

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