recent decades, the issue of the nature of Ediacaran
cyclic imprints, including the widely distributed
in Podillia (southwestern Ukraine) Nemiana simplex
Palij, 1976, and the less common Beltanelliformis
brunsae Menner, 1974 (Beltanelloides sorichevae
(Sokolov), 1965) has been actively debated. Several
new and similar forms were discovered in other regions
of the Globe. The disk-like outlines were considered
to be sufficient characters to synonymize several
earlier recognized genera and species. The main
additional features used to distinguish cyclic genera
included such features as the shape and sculpture
of surfaces, facial differences, and geological
age. Novel palaeobiochemical studies of these ancient
remains opened a new phase of discussions on the
possible identities of the organisms that formed
these fossil structures. Sometimes the remains are
covered with thin brown films providing biochemical
evidence for the cyanobacterial nature of some structures,
for example Beltanelliformis brunsae. However, these
films are found only in clayey or carbonate environments
(rocks). For Nemiana Palij, characteristic features
are clustered communities and budding. In contrast,
Beltanelliformis brunsae formed taphonomic communities
of closely arranged disks almost identical in their
shape and size. Nemiana simplex structures are confined
to clastic rocks (mostly thin-grained sandstones
or siltstone), which are not suitable for good preservation
of imprints and organic remains of ancient animals,
cyanobacteria, algae, and plants. Considering these
and some additional considerations, synonimization
of Nemiana òà Beltanelliformis, as well as some
other Ediacaran fossil structures differing in their
morphology, is at best premature.
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