Diversity of cnidarians and cycloneuralians in the Fortunian (early Cambrian) Kuanchuanpu Formation at Zhangjiagou, South China

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The latest discovery of microfossils from the lower Cambrian (Fortunian Stage) Zhangjiagou Lagerstätte in South China are presented. This lagerstätte is rich in exceptionally preserved microfossils, including embryos of Olivooides multisulcatus, Olivooides mirabilis, and Pseudooides prima; hatched stages of O. multisulcatus, O. mirabilis, Hexaconularia sichuanensis, and Quadrapyrgites quadratacris; and cycloneuralians represented by Eopriapulites sphinx. The largest known fragment of O. mirabilis implies that its adult length can be more than 9.0 mm with at least 50 annuli, and the longest known specimen of Q. quadratacris has at least 18 annuli. These unusually large specimens refute the non-feeding larvae hypothesis for Olivooides and Quadrapyrgites. Based on the current material, it is inferred that (1) early cnidarians have a high diversity in the Fortunian Stage; (2) P. prima might represent the embryonic stages of H. sichuanensis; (3) adults of Olivooides and Quadrapyrgites may have reached centimeter-scale dimensions with more than 50 annuli; (4) Olivooides and Quadrapyrgites may be better interpreted as coronate scyphozoans; (5) cycloneuralians also had a high diversity in the Zhangjiagou Lagerstätte; and (6) cycloneuralians might have originally been part of the early Cambrian meiofauna rather than belonging to the macrobenthos. Such ancestral cycloneuralians might have been Eopriapulites-like, possessing pentaradially symmetric, backward pointing, and internally hollow introvert scalids used as locomotory devices.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Chang'an University
  • No affiliation available (private)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-129
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Paleontology
Volume92
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes