Chengjiangocaris longiformis, Rare Early Cambrian Arthropod from Chengjiang

Name: Arthropoda; Chengjiangocaris longiformis (Chengjiang)

Age: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 30 mm long on a 40 mm by 35 mm matrix

Location: Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Anning, Yunnan Province, China

Chengjiangocaris longiformisDescription: With the discovery of the Chengjiang Biota by Hou Xian-guang in 1984, a window on a new view of what has been termed the Cambrian Explosion was opened. The diversity of soft-tissue fossils is astonishing: algae, medusiforms, sponges, priapulids, annelid-like worms, echinoderms, arthropods (including trilobites), hemichordates, chordates, and the first Chengjiangocarisagnathan fish make up just a small fraction of the total. Numerous problematic forms are known as well, some of which may have represented failed attempts at diversity that did not persist to the present day.

This unusual specimen is Chengjiangocaris, a taxon known from only a handful of specimens. It is the only genus and species in the Family Chegjiangocaridae, and is known only form the Chengjiang Biota. Note an artist’s rendering of the specimen as it is thought to have appeared in life.

click to enlarge

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