Large Soft Bodied Trilobite Misszhouia
from the Chengjiang Maotianshan Shale

Misszhouia (Naraoia) longicaudata

Family Naraoiidae

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Misszhouia fossil is 52 mm long by 15 mm wide on a 75 mm by 43 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Maotianshan Shales, Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Haikou Village, AnningYunnan, China

Fossil Code: CJF728

Price: $185.00


Misszhouia Description: The exact taxonomic status of this arthropod is in dispute. It has been termed a “trilobitomorph” by some researchers, showing their beliefs in its close affinity with the trilobites. While the Trilobitoorpha was listed in the Treatise, most now consider that this subphylum is invalid, a catchall much like some of the dustbin terms used by Walcott for a number of the Burgess Shale fauna. Whittington termed it a “soft-bodied trilobite”’ but that belief is not Misszhouia Naraoiasupported at present. Their similarity in appearance to the Agnoistida is purely a result of convergence. Two large groupings of the Paleozoic arthropods are currently in favor: the Crustaceomorpha (which includes Waptia) and the Arachnomorpha, dominated by the trilobites. The Naraoiidae are arachnomorphs and include Misszhouia and Naraoia. Misszhouia longicaudata was initially placed within Naraoia, but was given its own genus based upon differences between it and Naraoia compacta of the Burgess Shale. The species is one found in several locations within Yunnan Province. This one is a quite large example which shows the outline of the cuticle and some of the central gut. The matrix repair renders it a most affordable example.

Also see: Chengjiang Biota Fauna List Chengjiang Fossils

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