Article: A chondrophorine (medusoid hydrozoan) from the Lower Cretaceous of Chile
Aysenspriggia apelegensis is a new genus and species of a chondrophorine (jellyfish-like hydrozoan) from the Lower Cretaceous Apeleg Formation of southern Chile. Despite their modern abundance chondrophorines are rare in the fossil record. The Apeleg Formation was deposited in a deep-water environment characterised by strong tidal currents. The fossils resulted from water-logged pelagic floats settling to the sea bed during periods of tidal slack water. Burial of the rigid three-dimensional chitinoid float resulted in preservation as imprints on the base of the overlying sandstone. Soft parts of the animal were not preserved. The palaeoenvironmental interpretation is in accordance with that of other records of chondrophorines, including those from the Ediacaran fauna, which are apparently characterised by a bimodal depth distribution. Like much of the Ediacaran fauna most chondrophorines are preserved as impressions on the base of sandstone beds.