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The macro- and microfossil record of the middle Cambrian priapulid Ottoia

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-05-01, 10:33 authored by Martin R. Smith, Thomas H. P. Harvey, Nicholas J. Butterfield
The stem group priapulid Ottoia Walcott, 1911 is the most abundant worm in the mid Cambrian Burgess Shale, but has not been unambiguously demonstrated elsewhere. High resolution electron and optical microscopy of macroscopic Burgess Shale specimens reveals the detailed anatomy of its robust hooks, spines and pharyngeal teeth, establishing the presence of two species: Ottoia prolifica Walcott, 1911 and Ottoia tricuspida sp. nov. Direct comparison of these sclerotized elements with a suite of shale hosted mid to late Cambrian microfossils extends the range of ottoiid priapulids throughout the middle to upper Cambrian strata of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Ottoiid priapulids represented an important component of Cambrian ecosystems: they occur in a range of lithologies and thrived in shallow water as well as the deep water setting of the Burgess Shale. A wider survey of Burgess Shale macrofossils reveals specific characters that diagnose priapulid sclerites more generally, establishing the affinity of a wide range of Small Carbonaceous Fossils and demonstrating the prominent role of priapulids in Cambrian seas.

Funding

We acknowledge a Sylvester-Bradley Award(MRS), Clare College, Cambridge (MRS), Sidney Sussex College,Cambridge (THPH), the Petroleum Research Fund (AmericanChemical Society) (NJB) and Natural Environment ResearchCouncil Grant NE/H009914/1 (NJB and THPH)

History

Citation

Palaeontology Vol. 58, Part 4, 2015, pp. 705–721]

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Geology

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Palaeontology Vol. 58

Publisher

Wiley for Palaeontological Association

issn

0031-0239

eissn

1475-4983

Acceptance date

2015-04-30

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2015-08-20

Publisher version

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pala.12168/abstract

Notes

Data for this study are available in the Dryad digital repository: http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.km109.

Language

en

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