Meet the who’s who of the Ediacara world

Meet the who’s who of the Ediacara world



Creep­ing, glid­ing grace­ful­ly like a slow stingray, its round­ed body stretch­es out, expand­ing and con­tact­ing as it moves across the sea floor, absorb­ing food through its body. Rugged in char­ac­ter and leath­ery in exte­ri­or, it is some­what of the tough guy of the Edi­acara world grow­ing up to a metre across

Meet the who’s who of the Ediacara world


Say hel­lo to South Australia’s fos­sil emblem. A wrig­gly lit­tle fel­low that looks pret­ty cool. Some say it has a def­i­nite head, might even have eyes and a mouth. Is this a pos­si­ble fore­bear to hard­shell insects or crabs? And is it true that Sprig­gi­na might have devel­oped into a predator?

Meet the who’s who of the Ediacara world


Think Atten­bori­ties, think Sir David Atten­bor­ough. Well, they were named after him. Grape-size, pos­si­bly translu­cent, grace­ful lit­tle crea­tures bob­bing up and down and going with the flow like an ancient jel­ly­fish while observ­ing the won­der­ful world around them.



Move over Aphrodite, the god­dess of love, lust, beau­ty, pas­sion and pro­cre­ation ‑Meet Funisia, who invent­ed it all. That’s right, the liv­ing crea­ture that invent­ed sex, flirt­ing, sway­ing, seduc­ing and releas­ing sperm and eggs into the water col­umn in a way coral sim­i­lar­ly does today. Such pas­sion all those hun­dreds of mil­lions of years ago in the first record of sex­u­al repro­duc­tion on earth.



Poor Tri seemed a lit­tle con­fused. With most Edi­acara hav­ing bi-radi­al sym­me­try, Tri is tri-radi­al which means it looks a lit­tle dif­fer­ent with a body plan like none oth­er. Maybe that’s why Tri was shy and spent most of the time way down on the bot­tom of seabed.



Don’t call her a plant, she’s an ani­mal. Anchor­ing her­self to sed­i­ment through a hold­fast, she sways in the cur­rent and reach­es up a metre high. Liv­ing in the deep­er parts, not only funky but a promi­nent char­ac­ter in this most far-ancient world

Microbial mat

Micro­bial mat

Now for some­thing real­ly dis­gust­ing. Think algae, think goo, think slime. Think about putting your feet into the foulest ocean floor. Well, it can’t be too bad because it’s the blob that sus­tained life, the ulti­mate food source – the creep­ing, gooey, glug that was the micro­bial mat that fed life on earth.

Want to meet the gang?

Edi­acaran fos­sils for the basis of a new tourism expe­ri­ence in the new­ly opened Nilpe­na Edi­acara Nation­al Park, locat­ed in the North­ern Flinders Rangers, approx­i­mate­ly 40km from Parachilna. 

To ensure the preser­va­tion of this sci­en­tif­ic and cul­tur­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant area, entry to Nilpe­na Edi­acara Nation­al Park is by guid­ed tour only. Book­ings can­not be made at the entrance and must be organ­ised online pri­or to arrival. 

For fur­ther details or to book vis­it: Nilpe­na… — Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Australia

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living