Cindarella eucalla, an Exceptionally Rare Arthropod from Chengjiang

Cindarella eucalla

Phylum Arthropoda

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

Size: 25 mm

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

Cindarella eucallaDescription: This unusual arthropod is known as Cindarella eucalla. The species is known from very few compressed examples. The diversity of soft-tissue fossils is astonishing: algae, medusiforms, sponges, priapulids,Cindarella annelid like worms, echinoderms, arthropods (including trilobites), hemichordates, chordates, and the first agnathan fish make up just a small fraction of the total. Numerous problematic forms are known as well, some of which may have represented failed attempts at diversity that did not persist to the present day. The taxon is similar to Xandarella spectaculum, and is such it is quite trilobite-like in appearance, but differs in the lack of a calcified exoskeleton and different eye morphology. The taxon is unknown outside the Chengjiang Biota. The eye, central gut, and several limbs are all visible in this fine partial example.

Also see: Chengjiang Biota Chengjiang Fossils

click fossil images to enlarge

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