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The renowned soft-bodied faunas of the Cambrian period, which include the Burgess Shale, disappear from the fossil record in the late Middle Cambrian, after which the Palaeozoic fauna dominates. The disappearance of faunas of Burgess Shale type curtails the stratigraphic record of a number of iconic Cambrian taxa. One possible explanation for this loss is a(More)
Investigation of feathers from the famous Middle Eocene Messel Oil Shale near Darmstadt, Germany shows that they are preserved as arrays of fossilized melanosomes, the surrounding beta-keratin having degraded. The majority of feathers are preserved as aligned rod-shaped eumelanosomes. In some, however, the barbules of the open pennaceous, distal portion of(More)
The basic arrangement of limbs in euarthropods consists of a uniramous head appendage followed by a series of biramous appendages. The body is divided into functional units or tagmata which are usually distinguished by further differentiation of the limbs. The living horseshoe crabs are remnants of a much larger diversity of aquatic chelicerates. The limbs(More)
Exceptionally preserved fossils from the Wenlock Series (Silurian) of Herefordshire, UK, provide unique evidence of metamorphosis from free-swimming cyprid larva to attached juvenile in a Palaeozoic barnacle. The larva had large brush-like anterior limbs. The juvenile shows the head transformed into a stalk and the development of the primordial condition of(More)
Thylacocephala is a group of enigmatic extinct arthropods. Here we provide a full description of the oldest unequivocal thylacocephalan, a new genus and species Thylacares brandonensis, which is present in the Silurian Waukesha fauna from Wisconsin, USA. We also present details of younger, Jurassic specimens, from the Solnhofen lithographic limestones,(More)
Feathers are complex integumentary appendages of birds and some other theropod dinosaurs. They are frequently coloured and function in camouflage and display. Previous investigations have concluded that fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces composed of feather-degrading bacteria. Here, an investigation of a colour-banded feather from the Lower(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)
The small, non-biomineralized, three-dimensionally preserved arthropod Offacolus kingi Orr et al. from the Wenlock Series (Silurian) of Herefordshire, England, is re-evaluated, and the new family Offacolidae erected. This new study is based on specimens which have been serially ground, reconstructed by computer and rendered in the round as coloured models.(More)
A remarkable specimen of Mesolimulus from the Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian) of Nusplingen, Germany, preserves the musculature of the prosoma and associated microbes in three dimensions in calcium phosphate (apatite). The musculature of Mesolimulus conforms closely to that of modern horseshoe crabs. Associated with the muscles are patches of mineralized(More)