New opabiniid diversifies the weirdest wonders of the euarthropod stem group.
Proc Biol Sci
The Royal Society
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Pates, S., Wolfe, J. M., Lerosey-Aubril, R., Daley, A. C., & Ortega-Hernández, J. (2022). New opabiniid diversifies the weirdest wonders of the euarthropod stem group.. Proc Biol Sci, 289 (1968) https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2093
Once considered 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian, the emblematic Burgess Shale animals Anomalocaris and Opabinia are now recognized as lower stem-group euarthropods and have provided crucial data for constraining the polarity of key morphological characters in the group. Anomalocaris and its relatives (radiodonts) had worldwide distribution and survived until at least the Devonian. However, despite intense study, Opabinia remains the only formally described opabiniid to date. Here we reinterpret a fossil from the Wheeler Formation of Utah as a new opabiniid, Utaurora comosa nov. gen. et sp. By visualizing the sample of phylogenetic topologies in treespace, our results fortify support for the position of U. comosa beyond the nodal support traditionally applied. Our phylogenetic evidence expands opabiniids to multiple Cambrian stages. Our results underscore the power of treespace visualization for resolving imperfectly preserved fossils and expanding the known diversity and spatio-temporal ranges within the euarthropod lower stem group.
Cambrian, phylogenetics, Euarthropoda, Treespace, Opabiniidae, Wheeler Formation
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2093
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/334933
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/