Nicholas J. Butterfield

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—Multicellular filaments from the ca. 1200-Ma Hunting Formation (Somerset Island, arctic Canada) are identified as bangiacean red algae on the basis of diagnostic cell-division patterns. As the oldest taxonomically resolved eukaryote on record Bangiomorpha pubescens n. gen. n. sp. provides a key datum point for constraining protistan phylogeny. Combined(More)
We report high precision Sr isotopic data on carbonates from the Neoproterozoic Shaler Group, Victoria Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. Lithostratigraphic correlations with the relatively well-dated Mackenzie Mountains Supergroup constrain Shaler deposition to approximately 770-880 Ma, a range corroborated by 723 +/- 3 Ma lavas that disconformably(More)
Molecular clocks have the potential to shed light on the timing of early metazoan divergences, but differing algorithms and calibration points yield conspicuously discordant results. We argue here that competing molecular clock hypotheses should be testable in the fossil record, on the principle that fundamentally new grades of animal organization will have(More)
Most Cambrian arthropods employed simple feeding mechanisms requiring only low degrees of appendage differentiation. In contrast, post-Cambrian crustaceans exhibit a wide diversity of feeding specializations and possess a vast ecological repertoire. Crustaceans are evident in the Cambrian fossil record, but have hitherto been known exclusively from small(More)
We describe Collinsium ciliosum from the early Cambrian Xiaoshiba Lagerstätte in South China, an armored lobopodian with a remarkable degree of limb differentiation including a pair of antenna-like appendages, six pairs of elongate setiferous limbs for suspension feeding, and nine pairs of clawed annulated legs with an anchoring function. Collinsium belongs(More)
Panarthropods are typified by disparate grades of neurological organization reflecting a complex evolutionary history. The fossil record offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct early character evolution of the nervous system via exceptional preservation in extinct representatives. Here we describe the neurological architecture of the ventral nerve cord(More)
Silicified peritidal carbonate rocks of the 1250- to 750-million-year-old Hunting Formation, Somerset Island, arctic Canada, contain fossils of well-preserved bangiophyte red algae. Morphological details, especially the presence of multiseriate filaments composed of radially arranged wedge-shaped cells derived by longitudinal divisions from disc-shaped(More)
Exceptionally preserved, non-biomineralizing fossils contribute importantly to resolving details of the Cambrian explosion, but little to its overall patterns. Six distinct "types" of exceptional preservation are identified for the terminal Proterozoic-Cambrian interval, each of which is dependent on particular taphonomic circumstances, typically restricted(More)
The early history of crustaceans is obscured by strong biases in fossil preservation, but a previously overlooked taphonomic mode yields important complementary insights. Here we describe diverse crustacean appendages of Middle and Late Cambrian age from shallow-marine mudstones of the Deadwood Formation in western Canada. The fossils occur as flattened and(More)