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Lethaia. 1995;28:285-98.

Mesoproterozoic Archaeoellipsoides: akinetes of heterocystous cyanobacteria.

Author information

1
Biological Science Center, Boston University, MA 02215, USA.
2
Harvard U, Cambridge, MA

Abstract

The genus Archaeoellipsoides Horodyski & Donaldson comprises large (up to 135 micrometers long) ellipsoidal and rod-shaped microfossils commonly found in silicified peritidal carbonates of Mesoproterozoic age. Based on morphometric and sedimentary comparisons with the akinetes of modern bloom-forming Anabaena species, Archaeoellipsoides is interpreted as the fossilized remains of akinetes produced by planktic heterocystous cyanobacteria. These fossils set a minimum date for the evolution of derived cyanobacteria capable of marked cell differentiation, and they corroborate geochemical evidence indicating that atmospheric oxygen levels were well above 1% of present day levels 1,500 million years ago.

PMID:
11539549
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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