Tuzoia sinensis, A Decorated Phyllocarid Fossil from Chengjiang Biota

Tuzoia sinensis


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

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 63 mm long by 43 mm across on an 83 mm by 65 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Maotianshan Shales: Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Caijiachong Valley, Wang Jia Qiao, Yunnan Province, China

Tuzoia sinensis ChengjiangDescription: This unusual fossil is an example of a rarely-seen Phyllocarid known as Tuzoia sinensis. It is a bivalved crustacean, most well known for its distinctively-reticulated carapace. This specimen comes from a new location for Chngjiang material, and is quite detailed, showing both the ornamentation of the shell and the bordering spines. The genus is known from the Burgess Shale and from Early/Middle Cambrian deposits of Utah. Those are largely distinguished by the presence and placement of spines on the carapace. Few examples of the genus are known from more than the carapace, as seen here. The repaired matrix does little to detract from this large example.

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