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Science. 2002 Jun 28;296(5577):2383-6.

Proterozoic modular biomineralized metazoan from the Nama Group, Namibia.

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  • 1Schlumberger Cambridge Research, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB2 OEL, UK.


We describe a Proterozoic, fully biomineralized metazoan from the Omkyk Member (approximately 549 million years before the present) of the northern Nama Group, Namibia. Namapoikia rietoogensis gen. et sp. nov. is up to 1 meter in diameter and bears a complex and robust biomineralized skeleton; it probably represents a cnidarian or poriferan. Namapoikia encrusts perpendicular to the walls of vertical synsedimentary fissures in microbial reefs. This finding implies that large, modular metazoans with biologically controlled mineralization appeared some 15 million years earlier than previously documented.

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