|You can order any of the meteorites listed below by clicking here
Archaeocyathids are an extinct group of animals with some similarities to the sponges. They are
confined to the lower Cambrian and are the only phylum that is now completely extinct.
These enigmatic animals have fascinated researchers for decades as they are only found at the
dawn on the explosion of life (lower Cambrian) and were all extinct within a few tens of millions
of years. Diverse faunas are known from Australia and Russia, but they also occur at other sites
across the globe. It is believed the group initially evolved in what is now Siberia and from there
spread across the Cambrian seas.
The animals formed structures similar to those of sponges and corals, with most being cup,
vase or tube shaped (many were shaped like horn corals). They consisted of a central cavity
surrounded by either a single or an inner and outer wall. The walls were perforated and this
allowed nutrient bearing water to enter and exit. The base of the structure was anchored to the
sea bed. The actual soft parts of the animal are unknown but are believed to have been housed
in the space between the inner and outer wall (the intervallum).
Ajax Mine thin section collection #1 - £20/$25
Ajax Mine thin section collection #2 - £20/$25
|A nice collection of 5 thin sections showing the chain like walls of 5 different types.
Wilkawillina Gorge thin section collection - £20/$25
|A nice collection of 5 thin sections offering some different species to those found in the
Ajax Mine material
Metaldetes taylori - £6/$10
Dictyocyathus - £10/$15
|Propharetra juvenile - £6/$10
Coscinocyathus - £15/$25
|Ethmophyllum sp. - £15/$25
Metaldetes taylori - £15/$25
|Ajacicyathus juvenile - £6/$10
Coscinoptycta bilateralis - £6/$10
Robustocyathus - £15/$25
For many years Archaeocyathids were believed to be
sponges, but eventually they were deemed to be so
different that they were placed in their own phylum.
The phylum is particularly important because they
were the first reef builders in the tropical and sub
tropical oceans. In the lower to middle Cambrian they
formed the only reef habitats available to marine
animals. With their extinction in the middle Cambrian
reef building essentially ceased until the Ordovician
period when the corals appeared.
Listed below are the specimens that we currently have available. All are offered as microscope
thin sections as this is the only way to really see many of the details.
|We also have a large number of slides available that contain unidentified genera. Each shows a
fragment of archaeocyathid but is not complete enough for a formal identification. They do,
however, show many of the details of the group. These are priced at £3/$5 each.