|Named By:||Trevor D. Ford in 1958|
|Time Period:||Ediacaran, 579-555 Ma|
|Location:||Australia. Canada. England. Russia|
|Size:||Holotype specimen roughly about 19 centimetres long, with many other specimens of comparable size. However largest recorded individuals from Newfoundland approach up to 2 meters in length|
|Diet:||Possibly absorbed nutrients from water|
|Fossil(s):||Numerous specimens, many of which are complete|
|Classification:||| Petalonamae ||
|Also known as:||| Glassnerina | Rangea grandis | Rangea sibirica ||
Charnia is a genus of frond-like Ediacaran lifeforms with segmented, leaf-like ridges branching alternately to the right and left from a zig-zag medial suture (thus exhibiting glide reflection, or opposite isometry). The genus Charnia was named after Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire, England, where the first fossilised specimen was found. It is a highly significant fossil.
The living organism was a type of life form that grew on the sea floor and is believed to have fed on nutrients in the water. Despite Charnia's fern-like appearance, it is not a plant or alga because the nature of the fossilbeds where specimens have been found demonstrate that it originally lived in deep water, well below the photic zone where photosynthesis can occur.