The oldest Zoophycos and implications for Early Cambrian deposit feeding

Aaron Sappenfield*, Mary Droser, Martin Kennedy, Ryan McKenzie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Zoophycos-group burrows are prevalent elements of the post-Cambrian trace fossil record. Here we report the oldest specimens of Zoophycos from Lower Cambrian strata of the Lower Member Wood Canyon Formation in southeastern California. In addition to these being the oldest examples of this well-known trace fossil, the discovery of these specimens also reveals the presence of deposit feeding considerably earlier than has been suggested for the advent of this feeding style. This type of activity may have had a significant impact on sediment mixing during the Precambrian Cambrian transition, though the rarity and shallow tier position of these specimens suggests otherwise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1123
Number of pages6
JournalGeological Magazine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


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