Lingulella Brachiopod from Maotianshan Shales

Lingulella chengjiangensis

Phylum Brachiopoda, Order Linguilida Family Lingulidae

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

Size: 17 mm

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

Lingulella chengjiangensisThis small brachipod is known as Lingulella chengjiangensis. The species is a relatively common member of the biota, with this one coming from the most famous location of all, Maotianshan (Mao Tian Hill), site of the discovery of the Chengjiang Biota by Hou Xian-guang in 1984. The source of the specific name is easy to determine.

Lingulella is a widespread Cambrian lingulid brachiopod that is also found in the Burgess Shale. Its Order, Linguilida, persists to modern times, unlike most of Orders of Brochiopoda. Specimens from the Burgess Shale typically do not show soft tissue preservation such as the pedicle seen here. While Lingulella may have led a burrowing existence like extant lingulids, several at Chengjiang have been found attached to other organisms like Eldonia and Rotadiscus, indicative of an epibenthic lifestyle. This species has been reported from both Chengjiang and Haikou.

Lingulella chengjiangensis

Also see: Chengjiang Biota Chengjiang Fossils Cambrian Explosion


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