Rare Phyllocarid from Chengjiang Showing Soft Tissue Preservation

Phyllocarida gen indet

Geological Time: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 31 mm long on 32 mm by 41 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Biota - Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Mafang Village, Anning, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

Code: CJF420

Price: Sold

Phyllocarid from ChengjiangDescription: This unusual shelled arthropod is known as a member of the Phyllocarida. Phyllocarids are one of the lesser-known branchiopod crustaceans from the PhyllocaridaCambrian where they are among the earliest animals with a hard shell. They have a fairly large carapace, which protects the anterior part of the body. This structure hinged along the dorsal edge like a bivalve. Usually only the carapace is found. Rarely are the soft parts preserved. Strangely enough, most of the shell to this specimen is missing, allowing a view of the soft body parts in detail. Perhaps this one died shortly after molting while the shell was still too soft? Whatever the case, you have here a most unique specimen! I’ve included a restoration of Branchiocaris, a Phyllocarid known from this locality.

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