SQU team finds Cambrian era fossils

975957MUSCAT: During the field trips carried out by a research team from the Department of Earth Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, led Dr Mohamed el Ghali to study Haima Supergroup in Huqf Area (Governorate of Al Wusta), a strategic project funded by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, a new discovery of Thalassinoides trace fossil (Late Cambrian) was made. The discovered Thalassinoides are well preserved and cover a wide area within middle Miqrat Formation. This discovered Thalassinoides comprises cylindrical burrows (ca. 8 mm – 5 cm diameter) that form horizontal branching (10 – 22 cm long) polygonal network with shafts connected to the surface.
Cambrian Thalassinoides is rare and poorly documented and of a small scale compared with those discovered within middle Miqrat Formation. This discovery will open doors for researchers to investigate and do research to know more about Cambrian life. This discovery, as well, will help to 975958reinterpret the proposed depositional environment of Miqrat Formation formerly. The Thalassinoides is well known to form by a variety of marine organisms. Many samples have been collected for further analysis in the Department of Earth Sciences and College of Science Labs, SQU and publish the results in high impact factor journals.
Wikipedia defines Thalassinoides as an ichnogenus of trace fossil used to refer to “dichotomously or T-branched boxworks, mazes and shafts, unlined and unornamented”. Facies of Thalassinoides increased suddenly in abundance at the beginning of the Mesozoic. Such burrows are made by a number of organisms, including the sea anemone Cerianthus, Balanoglossus and fishes, but are most closely associated with decapod crustaceans of the (former) infraorder Thalassinidea.