An armoured Cambrian lobopodian from China with arthropod-like appendages

Zoltan

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Interesting new publication:

Liu, J., M. Steiner, J. A. Dunlop, H. Keupp, D. Shu, Q. Ou, J. Han, Z. Zhang & X. Zhang. 2011. An armoured Cambrian lobopodian from China with arthropod-like appendages. Nature 470, 526–530. doi:10.1038/nature09704

Abstract. Cambrian fossil Lagerstätten preserving soft-bodied organisms have contributed much towards our understanding of metazoan origins. Lobopodians are a particularly interesting group that diversified and flourished in the Cambrian seas. Resembling ‘worms with legs’, they have long attracted much attention in that they may have given rise to both Onychophora (velvet worms) and Tardigrada (water bears), as well as to arthropods in general. Here we describe Diania cactiformis gen. et sp. nov. as an ‘armoured’ lobopodian from the Chengjiang fossil Lagerstätte (Cambrian Stage 3), Yunnan, southwestern China. Although sharing features with other typical lobopodians, it is remarkable for possessing robust and probably sclerotized appendages, with what appear to be articulated elements. In terms of limb morphology it is therefore closer to the arthropod condition, to our knowledge, than any lobopodian recorded until now. Phylogenetic analysis recovers it in a derived position, close to Arthropoda; thus, it seems to belong to a grade of organization close to the point of becoming a true arthropod. Further, D. cactiformis could imply that arthropodization (sclerotization of the limbs) preceded arthrodization (sclerotization of the body). Comparing our fossils with other lobopodian appendage morphologies — see Kerygmachela, Jianshanopodia and Megadictyon — reinforces the hypothesis that the group as a whole is paraphyletic, with different taxa expressing different grades of arthropodization.
 

Acro

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Crazy cool...
Know of any pictures or drawings anywhere?
 

Matt K

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Awesomeness, and very interesting. How is it again that there are people who don't believe in evolution or fossils? On another forum someone was trying to argue that Stegosaurus was found alive as little as 800 years ago.....
 

ZergFront

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someone was trying to argue that Stegosaurus was found alive as little as 800 years ago.....
:wall:{D:wall:

This is pretty cool. I love learning where different types of animals came from in evolution.

Wonder if Onychophora are available in the hobby anyway.. it's kind of cool the way they can glue an insect down so they can get it.
 

Galapoheros

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It's the devil Matt! It put fossils their to fool humans into thinking everything was put here before 6000 years ago. He's a wily character, do not be fooled by him! A lot of people think that Hell isn't deep in the ground either, but we just haven't drilled deep enough into the ground to poke a hole in the devil's ceiling.:eek:
 

Zoltan

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:wall:{D:wall:

This is pretty cool. I love learning where different types of animals came from in evolution.

Wonder if Onychophora are available in the hobby anyway.. it's kind of cool the way they can glue an insect down so they can get it.
I've seen pictures of some specimens in captivity, but they are definitely not "mainstream." One specimen was also found eating a tarantula in Brazil. BTW, if anyone is interested in the Diania cactiformis article, PM me.
 
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