Mafangocaris multinodus from Chengjiang Maotianshan Shale
Uncommon Great Appendage Arthropod

Name: Mafangocaris multinodus

Phylum Arthropoda

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

Size: 22 mm long on a 38 mm by 28 mm matrix

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

Mafangocaris multinodusThis unusual arthropod is known as Mafangocaris, a taxon that is thought by some scientists to be a synonym of Leanchoilia. The specimen is a member of the “great appendage arthropods” known as the opabinids after Opabinia from the Burgess Shale Fauna. Other members of the great appendage arthropods from Chengjiang are Jianfengia and Alalcomenaeus. The exceptional detail of the appendages is readily apparent in this fine specimen, and is indicative of the fact that Mafangocaris was likely a strong swimmer. This is a lateral view of the fossil; additional material may be covered by matrix. The depiction of the similar taxon Leanchoilia shows what they probably looked like in life.

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