Cloudina Reconstruction, Namibia
Akshay Mehra (graduate student), Adam Maloof (faculty)
Department of Geosciences
Cloudina, which lived at the end of the Ediacaran Period (about 547 million years ago), is regarded as one of the earliest organisms to biomineralize (i.e., create hard skeletal parts). Cloudina lived in or around microbial reefs and produced tubes with a characteristic tube-in-tube structure. This image represents the first ever three-dimensional reconstruction of a Cloudina population, produced using GIRI (Grinding Imaging Reconstruction Instrument) at Princeton University. In addition to providing information about in-situ relationships of Cloudina specimens, the reconstruction has affirmed the presence of two distinct species on the basis of tube diameter.