Ontogeny and structure of a new, miniaturised and spiny olenid trilobite from Southern Sweden

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Abstract

Several hundred specimens of a tiny olenid trilobite, Ctenopyge ceciliae sp. nov., have been found in stinkstone nodules in the upper Cambrian Peltura scarabaeoides Zone in southern Sweden. This exceptionally spinose form is known only from disarticulated specimens, but is quite well preserved, and all growth stages are represented. The early ontogenetic stages are exceptionally small, the protaspis being only half the size of that of the associated Peltura species. There may have been no more than three thoracic segments. Thus the whole ontogeny was compressed, and this together with the very small size of the adult indicates a true miniaturisation. Whereas the likely control of the origin of the tiny C. ceciliae was basically progenesis, the extreme spinosity had a different origin; allometric growth or possibly peramorphosis. C. ceciliae is small enough for the spines to have appreciably retarded sinking through frictional effects, and this small trilobite is interpreted as a free-swimming or floating form.

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  • Geology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
JournalPalaeontology
Volume45
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes