Fortiforceps, RARE Great Appendage Arthropod from Chengjiang Biota

Name: Fortiforceps foliosa

Phylum Arthropoda

Geologic Time: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)

Size: 40 mm

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Maotianshan Shales, Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Mafang, Anning, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

Fortiforceps foliosa chengjiang arthropodThis unusual arthropod is known as Fortiforceps foliosa. The taxon was known from fewer than ten examples as the the publication of Hou’s book in 2004. The specimen is a member of the “great appendage arthropods” known as the opabinids after Opabinia from the Burgess Shale Fauna. Other members Fortiforcepsfrom Chengjiang are Leancoilia, Jianfengia and Alalcomenaeus. The exceptional detail of the locomatory appendages are readily apparent in this fine specimen, and are indicative of the fact that Fortiforceps was a strong swimmer.

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