Xianguangia sinica Primitive Sea Anemone from Chengjiang Biota

Xianguangia sinica

Phylum Cnidaria

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

Size: 12 mm long

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

Xianguangia sinica Primitive Sea Anemone from Chengjiang Biota Description: This is an example of the incredible diversity of early life known from the Chengjiang Biota. The diversity of soft-tissue fossils is astonishing: algae, medusiforms, sponges, priapulids, 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. While some researchers place this one in the Ctenophora, the original describers believe it is an early Cnidaian, a sea anemone much like those to come later. The striated stem and rounded base are indeed evocative of such an assignment. This specimen is the result of over 3 months of field work in an attempt to locate an area preserving these wonder creatures, time well worth the effort. Known only from the Chengjiang region, Xianguangia, known from less than 100 specimens, is only one of two taxa thought to represent the phylum in the Chengjiang Biota.

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l Paleontology & Fossils l Paleobiology and Geologic Timeline l
l Fossil Amber l Ammonite Fossils l Dinosaur and Reptile Fossils l Fossil Kits l
l Crinoids and Echinoderms l Fish Fossils l Fossil Dealers l Insect Fossils l Invertebrate Fossils l
l Plant Fossils l Stromatolites l Trace & Ichnofossils l Trilobite Fossils l Vertebrate Fossils l