Ostracod crustaceans are the most abundant fossil arthropods and are characterized by a long stratigraphic range. However, their soft parts are very rarely preserved, and the presence of ostracods in rocks older than the Silurian period [1-5] was hitherto based on the occurrence of their supposed shells. Pyritized ostracods that preserve limbs and in situ… (More)
An analysis of the range of morphology among arthropods demonstrates that disparity among living arthropods is similar to that in Cambrian arthropods. The range of morphological design resulting from the Cambrian "explosion" has been overestimated, reflecting a tendency to separate as "problematic" taxa that cannot be accommodated in the classification on… (More)
Leanchoilia superlata is one of the best known arthropods from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia. Here we re-describe the morphology of L. superlata and discuss its possible autecology. The re-description follows a standardized scheme, the descriptive matrix approach, designed to provide a template for descriptions of other megacheiran… (More)
Lobopodians, a nonmonophyletic assemblage of worm-shaped soft-bodied animals most closely related to arthropods, show two major morphotypes: long-legged and short-legged forms. The morphotype with stubby, conical legs has a long evolutionary history, from the early Cambrian through the Carboniferous, including the living onychophorans and tardigrades.… (More)
Pentastomids (tongue worms) are worm-like arthropods known today from ∼140 species . All but four are parasitic on vertebrates. Their life cycle typically involves larval development in an intermediate host followed by maturation in the respiratory tract of a definitive terrestrial host. Fossil pentastomids are exceedingly rare and are known only from… (More)
The sudden appearance of fossils that marks the so-called 'Cambrian explosion' has intrigued and exercised biologists since Darwin's time. In On the Origin of Species, Darwin made it clear that he believed that ancestral forms 'lived long before' their first fossil representatives. While he considered such an invisible record necessary to explain the level… (More)
A spectacular Cambrian soft bodied fauna some 40 km from Walcott's original Burgess Shale locality includes over 50 taxa, some 20% new to science. New anatomical evidence from this site will illuminate the evolution of early marine animals.
with a neocortex, not animals with a mushroom body. Many years ago, invertebrate circuits were often called 'simple ". Today we know that small circuits are quite complex and show dynamics that reveal many fundamental principles of circuit function. These principles provide a library of circuit mechanisms that are almost certainly used in all large brains.… (More)