Ciliates — Protists with complex morphologies and ambiguous early fossil record



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Dunthorn, Micah and Lipps, Jere H. and Dolan, John R. and Abboud-Abi Saab, Marie and Aescht, Erna and Bachy, Charles and Barría de Cao, María Sonia and Berger, Helmut and Bourland, William A. and Choi, Joong Ki and Clamp, John and Doherty, Mary and Gao, Feng and Gentekaki, Eleni and Gong, Jun and Hu, Xiaozhong and Huang, Jie and Kamiyama, Takashi and Johnson, Matthew D. and Kammerlander, Barbara and Kim, Sun Young and Kim, Young-Ok and la Terza, Antonietta and Laval-Peuto, Michèle and Lipscomb, Diana and Lobban, Christopher S. and Long, Hongan and Luporini, Pierangelo and Lynn, Denis H. and Macek, Miroslav and Mansergh, Robert I. and Martín Cereceda, María Mercedes and McManus, George G. and Montagnes, David J.S. and Ong'ondo, Geoffrey O. and Patterson, David J. and Pérez Uz, Blanca and Quintela Alonso, Pablo and Stoecker, Diane K. and Strüder-Kypke, Michaela C. and Trautmann, Isabelle and Utz, Laura R.P. and Vallesi, Adriana and Vd'ačný, Peter and Warren, Alan and Weisse, Thomas and Wickham, Stephen A. and Yi, Zhenzhen and Zhang, Wuchang and Zhan, Zifeng and Zufall, Rebecca and Agatha, Sabine (2015) Ciliates — Protists with complex morphologies and ambiguous early fossil record. Marine Micropaleontology, 119 . pp. 1-6. ISSN 0377-8398

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Since ciliates rarely possess structures that easily fossilize, we are limited in our ability to use paleontological studies to reconstruct the early evolution of this large and ecologically important clade of protists. Tintinnids, a group of loricate (house-forming) planktonic ciliates, are the only group that has a significant fossil record. Putative tintinnid fossils from rocks older than Jurassic, however, possess few to no characters that can be found in extant ciliates; these fossils are best described as ‘incertae sedis eukaryotes’. Here, we review the Devonian fossil Nassacysta reticulata and propose that it is likewise another incertae sedis eukaryote due to the lack of any unambiguous ciliate characters. Future tintinnid fossil descriptions would be most helpful if: (i) neutral terminology is used in the descriptions but ciliate-specific terminology in the interpretations; (ii) the current ciliate classification is used, although fossil data may expand or modify classifications based on modern forms; (iii) close collaboration with specialists studying extant ciliates is done; and (iv) editors include an expert of extant ciliates in the review process.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Acritarch; Ciliophora; Taxonomy; Tintinnids
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Invertebrates
Medical sciences > Biology > Microbiology
ID Code:42307
Deposited On:24 Apr 2017 14:49
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:30

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