Fuxianhuia protensa, Unusual Chengjiang Arthropod

Fuxianhuia protensa

Phylum Arthropoda

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

Size: 43 mm long on a 90 mm by 80 mm and 90 mm by 50 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Maotianshan Shale, Qiongzhusi Section, Yu'anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Maotianshan Hill, Yuxi, Chengjiang County, Yunnan Province, China

Fuxianhuia protensa Chengjiang ArthropodThe systematic position of this taxon is still in debate, with some considering it a basal euarthropod. The discoverer of the Chengjiang Biota and a co-worker erected a new family and a new superclass called Proschizoramia which was characterized as a group at Fuxianhuiaany early stage in the evolution of arthropods with biramous limbs. The taxon is unknown outside the Chengjiang Biota. Chen, et. al. (1995) noted that displays displays primitive characteristics of cephalic segmentation and trunk limb morphology supporting its basal position within Arthropoda. Specifically, the cephalon consists has eye-bearing sclerite with a head shield bearing antennules and subchelate appendages. The anterior position of the eye-bearing sclerite is similar to arthropod embryo eye lobes.

Also see: Cambrian Explosion


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