The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China: The Flowering of Early Animal Life
February 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
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|Images From The Book|
Maotianshan in the Chengjiang area, Yunnan Province, the site of the first find of soft-bodied fossils
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Collecting from the Lower Cambrian pale coloured mudstones at Maotianshan in the Chengjiang area, Yunnan Province
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|History Of Life
The geological record with some key events in the history of life
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Cricocosmia jinningensis , a nematomorph worm, x7.8. This species is known from thousands of specimens. The anterior proboscis, armed with spines, and the dark-coloured gut, are often clearly seen. It is known only from the Lower Cambrian of Yunnan Province
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Paraselkirkia jinningensis , a priapulid worm, x13.8. Hundreds of specimens are known for this species. The narrow, elongate, tapering tube presumably housed the trunk of the animal, and anteriorly there is a spinose proboscis for use in feeding and burrowing activities. This species has been recorded only from the Lower Cambrian of the Chengjiang area.
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Fuxianhuia protensa , an arthropod, x2.1. It has a wide ?head shield' and broad, anterior part to its trunk, which are succeeded by a narrower abdomen. This animal lived on the sea bottom, and the pair of grasping appendages in the head indicates that it may have been carnivorous. The species is known only from the Chengjiang biota.
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Microdictyon sinicum , a lobopodian, x7.2. It is uncertain which is the head end in this species, which has a trunk on which there are perforated plates, and annulated appendages with distal claws that it probably used for attachment. Microdictyon is known from various localities of Cambrian age globally, though this species has only been found in the Chengjiang area.
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Yunnanozoon lividum , an enigmatic form, x6.0. This worm-like animal may have been a deposit feeder. It has only been recorded from the Chengjiang biota.
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Myllokunmingia fengjiaoa , a chordate, x5.8. Myllokunmingia is one of the most celebrated fossils from the Chengjiang biota, as it is the earliest known vertebrate. It could certainly swim, though its mode of feeding is as yet unknown. It has been found only in the Lower Cambrian of the Haikou area, Yunnan Province.
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Anomalocaris saron , reconstruction. Anomalocaris , a large animal with large anterior appendages, was a carnivorous predator. It is one of four anomalocaridid genera in the Lower Cambrian of the Chengjiang area; each contains a single species, all of which are known only from this biota. The affinity of the anomalocaridids has been much debated, their morphology inviting comparison with several phyla, including various worm groups, kinorhynchs, lobopodians and arthropods.
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