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  1. The Ediacaran biota were soft-bodied organisms, many with enigmatic phylogenetic placement and ecology, living in marine environments between 574 and 539 million years ago. Some studies hypothesize a metazoan affinity and aerobic metabolism for these taxa, whereas others propose a fundamentally separate taxonomic grouping and a reliance on chemoautotrophy. To distinguish between these hypotheses and test the redox-sensitivity of Ediacaran organisms, here we present a high-resolution local and global redox dataset from carbonates that contain in situ Ediacaran fossils from Siberia. Cerium anomalies are consistently >1, indicating that local environments, where a diverse Ediacaran assemblage is preserved in situ as nodules and carbonaceous compressions, were pervasively anoxic. Additionally, δ238U values match other terminal Ediacaran sections, indicating widespread marine euxinia. These data suggest that some Ediacaran biotas were tolerant of at least intermittent anoxia, and thus had the capacity for a facultatively anaerobic lifestyle. Alternatively, these soft-bodied Ediacara organisms may have colonized the seafloor during brief oxygenation events not recorded by redox proxy data. Broad temporal correlations between carbon, sulfur, and uranium isotopes further highlight the dynamic redox landscape of Ediacaran-Cambrian evolutionary events. 
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  2. A series of dramatic oceanic and atmospheric events occurred in the immediate aftermath of the Marinoan “snowball Earth” meltdown ∼635 My ago. However, at the 10- to 100-ky timescale, the order, rate, duration, and causal-feedback relationships of these individual events remain nebulous. Nonetheless, rapid swings in regional marine sulfate concentrations are predicted to have occurred in the aftermath of a snowball Earth, due to the nonlinear responses of its two major controlling fluxes: oxidative weathering on the continents and pyrite burial in marine sediments. Here, through the application of multiple isotope systems on various carbon and sulfur compounds, we determined extremely 13 C-depleted calcite cements in the basal Ediacaran in South China to be the result of microbial sulfate reduction coupled to anaerobic oxidation of methane, which indicates an interval of high sulfate concentrations in some part of the postmeltdown ocean. Regional chemostratigraphy places the 13 C-depleted cements at the equivalent of the earliest Ediacaran 17 O-depletion episode, thus confining the timing of this peak in sulfate concentrations within ∼50 ky since the onset of the deglaciation. The dearth of similarly 13 C-depleted cements in other Proterozoic successions implies that the earliest Ediacaran peak in marine sulfate concentration is a regional and likely transient event. 
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