Articles | Volume 42, issue 2
Research article
18 Aug 2023
Research article |  | 18 Aug 2023

Artifacts resembling Ediacaran or Cambrian fossils: how to identify them and avoid their generation

Thiago F. Toniolo, Juliana M. Leme, Dermeval A. Carmo, Thomas R. Fairchild, Luana Morais, and Ricardo I. F. Trindade

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Short summary

Cited articles

Adorno, R. R., Carmo, D. A., Germs, G., Walde, D. H., Denezine, M., Boggiani, P. C., Silva, S. C. S., Vasconcelos, J. R., Tobias, T. C., Guimarães, E. M, Vieira, L. C., Figueiredo, M. F., Moraes, R., Caminha, S. A., Suarez, P. A. Z., Rodrigues, C. V., Caixeta, G. M., Pinho, D., Schneider, G., and Muyamba, R.: Cloudina lucianoi (Beurlen & Sommer, 1957), Tamengo Formation, Ediacaran, Brazil: taxonomy, analysis of stratigraphic distribution and biostratigraphy, Precambrian Res., 301, 19–35,, 2017. 
Amorim, K. B., Afonso, J. W. L., Leme, J. M., Diniz, C. Q. C., Rivera, L. C. M., Gómez-Gutiérrez, J. C., Boggiani, P. C., and Trindade, R. I. F.: Sedimentary facies, fossil distribution and depositional setting of the late Ediacaran Tamengo Formation (Brazil), Sedimentology, 67, 3422–3450,, 2020. 
Boggiani, P. C., Gaucher, C., Sial, A. N., Babinski, M., Simon, C. M., Riccomini, C., Ferreira, V. P., and Fairchild, T. R.: Chemostratigraphy of the Tamengo Formation (Corumbá Group, Brazil): a contribution to the calibration of the Ediacaran carbon-isotope curve, Precambrian Res., 182, 382–401,, 2010. 
Cai, Y., Hua, H., Schiffbauer, J. D., Sun, B., and Yuan, X.: Tube growth patterns and microbial mat-related lifestyles in the Ediacaran fossil Cloudina, Gaojiashan Lagerstätte, South China, Gondwana Res., 25, 1008–1018,, 2014. 
Cai, Y., Cortijo, I., Schiffbauer, J. D., and Hua, H.: Taxonomy of the late Ediacaran index fossil Cloudina and a new similar taxon from South China, Precambrian Res., 298, 146–156,, 2017. 
Short summary
The early fossils of animals with an exoskeleton witness a key episode in the evolution of life. These fossils, such as the cloudinids, have tubular shapes and an uncertain affinity. The reaction between H2O2 and pyrite can lead to the generation of objects very similar to these fossils. For this reason, the method of rock preparation is a cause for concern. Besides discussing methodology, this work provides criteria to distinguish artifacts from fossils based on their composition and structure.