Fossil of Tawuia dalensis, from the Miller Museum of Geology.

Belongs within: Diaphoretickes.

The Vendophyceae are a grouping (largely of convenience) of multicellular fossil algae known from the Ediacaran (late Precambrian). Members of this group include the ribbon-like Vendotaeniales, and the compressed tubular Archyfasma. Archyfasma dimera preserves a thallus internally differentiated between a cortex and medulla, as seen in modern algal species (Gnilovskaya 2003).

Characters (from Gnilovskaya 2003): Thallus (phytoleim) megascopic, unmineralised, multicellular. Thallus ribbonlike, compressed, tubular, straight or branching, formed by cellular tissues. Sporangia in longitudinal rows.

    |  i. s.: Dvinia Gnilovskaya 1979G03
    |--Archyfasma Gnilovskaya 2003 [Archyfasmaceae, Archyfasmales]G03
    |    `--*A. dimera Gnilovskaya 2003G03
    |--Eoholynia Gnilovskaya 1975G79 [EoholynialesG03]
    |    `--*E. mosquensis Gnilovskaya 1975G79
         |--Vendotaenia Gnilovskaya 1971G03
         |    `--*V. antiqua Gnilovskaya 1971G79
         |--Tirasotaenia Gnilovskaya 1971G03
         |    |--*T. podolica Gnilovskaya 1971H85
         |    `--T. tungusica Gnilovskaya 1979G14
         `--Tawuia Hofmann & Aitken 1979SWZ86, H98 [Tawuiaceae]
              `--*T. dalensis Hofmann in Hofmann & Aitken 1979HR94 (see below for synonymy)

*Tawuia dalensis Hofmann in Hofmann & Aitken 1979HR94 [incl. Ellipsophysa axicula Zheng 1980H85, Pumilibaxa huaiheiana Zheng 1980H85, P. huaihoianaH85, Shouhsienia longa Xing 1979 (n. n.)H85, Shouhsien longaH85, Nephroformia liulaobeiensis Zheng 1980H85, N. liulaopeiensisH85, Ellipsophysa proceriaxis Zheng 1980H85, Shouhsienia shouhsienensis Du 1982H85, Tawuia sinensis Duan 1982H85, T. striatia Zheng 1980H85, T. striatisH85]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[G79] Glaessner, M. F. 1979. Precambrian. In: Robison, R. A., & C. Teichert (eds) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt A. Introduction. Fossilisation (Taphonomy), Biogeography and Biostratigraphy pp. A79–A118. The Geological Society of America, Inc.: Boulder (Colorado), and The University of Kansas: Lawrence (Kansas).

[G03] Gnilovskaya, M. B. 2003. The oldest tissue differentiation in Precambrian (Vendian) algae. Paleontologicheskii Zhurnal 2003 (2): 92–98 (translated: Paleontological Journal 37 (2): 196–204).

[G14] Grazhdankin, D. 2014. Patterns of evolution of the Ediacaran soft-bodied biota. Journal of Paleontology 88 (2): 269–283.

[H98] Haines, P. W. 1998. Chuaria Walcott, 1899 in the lower Wessel Group, Arafura Basin, northern Australia. Alcheringa 22 (1): 1–8.

[H85] Hofmann, H. J. 1985. The mid-Proterozoic Little Dal macrobiota, Mackenzzie Mountains, north-west Canada. Palaeontology 28 (2): 332–354.

[HR94] Hofmann, H. J., & R. H. Rainbird. 1994. Carbonaceous megafossils from the Neoproterozoic Shaler Supergroup of Arctic Canada. Palaeontology 37 (4): 721–731.

[SWZ86] Sun W. G., Wang G. X. & Zhou B. H. 1986. Macroscopic worm-like body fossils from the upper Precambrian (900–700 Ma), Hiainan district, Anhui, China and their stratigraphic and evolutionary significance. Precambrian Research 31: 377–403.

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