These take the form of circular or slightly oval impression, 6 cm or more in diameter. The imprint shows a number of radical canals diverging from a small, spherical dome at the center, which is slightly raised; these canals may be dichotomously subdivided, either once, twice or three times.
The genus Rugoconites is one of the oldest known metazoans. The Ediacara beds, from which it comes, is the place where fossils of multi-celled organisms in Precambrian rocks were first discovered. Before the Ediacara finds, which occurred during the years immediately after World War 2, no organisms of this type had been definitely identified in rocks earlier than the Cambrian, which marks the beginning of the Paleozoic era.
Copyright 1986 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., Milan.