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Temporal range: Late Ediacaran
|An artist's illustration of Dickinsonia costata|
Dickinsonia is an unusual organism from the Ediacaran biota of Australia. Scientists have yet to discern what it is and have previously identified it as a jellyfish; coral; polychaete worm, worms with protuberances on its sides (although it lived too early to be classified with them); turbellarian, a subdivision of Platyhelminthes (flatworms); mushroom; xenophyophoran protist, a large unicellular protist; sea anemone; lichen; and relative of chordates.
Dickinsonia fossils are known only in the form of imprints and casts in sandstone beds. The specimens found range from a few millimeters to about 1.4 meters (4 feet and 7 inches) in length, and from a fraction of a millimeter to a few millimeters thick.