Vetulicola cuneata, An Enigmatic Fossil from Chengjiang
"Member of Putative New Phylum Vetulicolia"

Vetulicola cuneata

Phylum Vetulicolia

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

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): Fossil carapace is 68 mm long by 33 mm across. Overall: 96 mm long on a 150 mm by 80 mm matrix.

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

Fossil Code: CJF1322

Price: $750.00 - sold

Description: This unusual fossil is an example of Vetulicola cuneata (also spelled cuneatus), a member of the Vetulicolians, an enigmatic group which some scientists place in their own phylum (Phylum Vetulicolia). They are thought to have been swimmers that either were filter feeders or detritivores. One researcher places them with the Urochordates, giving them strong affinity with the Phylum Chordata. At present, there is no agreement as to their systematic placement. This specimen comes from the Chengjiang Boita, and is thus slightly older than the Burgess Shale Fauna of British Columbia. This one is quite complete; the repaired crack running through the abdomen does little to detract from such a fine specimen. See my other offerings for another species of this enimagtic taxon, such as Vetulicola rectangulata.

Also see: Chengjiang Biota Fauna List Chengjiang Fossils

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