Exceptionally Rare Arthropod Fossil from Chengjiang
Arthropoda - Xandarella spectaculum

Name: Arthropoda: Xandarella spectaculum (Chengjiang Maotianshan Shale)

Age: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 15 mm long and 10 mm across on a 50 mm by 28 mm matrix

Location: Qiongzhusi Section, Yu'anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Chengjiang County, Yunnan Province, China

Xanderella spectaculumDescription: This unusual arthropod is known as Xandarella spectaculum. The species is known from very few examples, some of which show many exquisite details. The diversity of soft-tissue fossils is astonishing: algae, medusiforms, sponges, priapulids, annelid like worms, echinoderms, arthropods (including trilobites), hemichordates, chordates, and the first agnathan fish make up just a small fraction of the total. Numerous problematic forms areknown as well, some of which may have represented failed attempts at diversity that did not persist to the present day. The specimen is preserved in dorsoventral fashion, with the antennae and many well-preserved appendages. X. spectaculum is quite trilobite-like in appearance, but differs in the lack of a calcified exoskeleton and different eye morphology. The taxon is unknown outside the Chengjiang Biota.

click to enlarge

Fossil Museum Navigation:
Geological Time Paleobiology Geological History Tree of Life
Fossil Sites Fossils Evolution Fossil Record Museum Fossils