A new study of the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation in China reports integrated biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic data of a region that provides valuable information about major perturbations in the carbon cycle of Earth some 635 to 542 million years ago. The Ediacara biota are the earliest fossil record of communities of macroscopic, complex, multicellular organisms on our planet.

The paper, “New biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic data from the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation in intra-shelf and upper slope facies of the Yangtze platform: Implications for biozonation of acanthomorphic acritarchs in South China,” was published in the journal Precambrian Research. The work was supported by NASA Astrobiology through the Exobiology & Evolutionary Biology Program.