Fossil Velvet Worms in Baltic and Dominican Amber: Onychophoran Evolution and Biogeography

  title={Fossil Velvet Worms in Baltic and Dominican Amber: Onychophoran Evolution and Biogeography},
  author={George Poinar},
  pages={1370 - 1371}
  • G. Poinar
  • Published 6 September 1996
  • Geography, Environmental Science, Geology
  • Science
Velvet worms identified in Baltic and Dominican amber demonstrate that terrestrial onychophorans were present in the early Tertiary. Characters of the amber fossils are similar to those of the Cambrian Aysheaia and the Pennsylvanian Helenodora, which suggests that these Paleozoic lobopods are ancestral to extant velvet worms. The presence of slime secretions in the Dominican amber fossil shows that the slime gland-pore complex had developed by the mid-Tertiary and could have been an adaptation… 

Earliest Onychophoran in Amber Reveals Gondwanan Migration Patterns

The morphology and phylogenetic significance of Kerygmachela kierkegaardi Budd (Buen Formation, Lower Cambrian, N Greenland)

  • G. Budd
  • Biology, Geography
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences
  • 1998
The combination of characters found in Kerygmachela allows it to be allied with the lobopods, represented in the extant fauna by the onychophorans, tardigrades, and possibly the pentastomids, and in the Cambrian fossil record by a morphologically diverse set of taxa, some of which are not assignable to the extant groupings.

The impact of taphonomic data on phylogenetic resolution: Helenodora inopinata (Carboniferous, Mazon Creek Lagerstätte) and the onychophoran stem lineage

The presence of H. inopinata in the Carboniferous demonstrates the survival of a Cambrian marine morphotype, and a likely post-Carboniferous origin of crown-Onychophora, and demonstrates that taphonomically informed tests of character interpretations have the potential to improve phylogenetic resolution.

The ‘Peripatos’ in Eurogondwana? – Lack of evidence that south-east Asian onychophorans walked through Europe

A molecular phylogenetic analysis of Onychophora is presented that includes previously unsampled and undersampled lineages and is analysed using a series of nested taxon sets designed to increase the amount of information available for particular subclades.

A Rare Onychophoran-Like Lobopodian from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, Southwestern China, and its Phylogenetic Implications

Antennacanthopodia gracilis new genus and species is described and interpreted here as an “unarmoured” lobopodian from the Chengjiang fossil Lagerstätte (Early Cambrian, ∼520 Ma), Yunnan, southwestern China, furthers the understanding of early lobopODian diversification.

Fossil onychophorans from Dominican and Baltic amber: Tertiapatus dominicanus n.g., n.sp. (Tertiapatidae n.fam.) and Succinipatopsis balticus n.g., n.sp. (Succinipatopsidae n.fam.) with a proposed classification of the subphylum Onychophora

The biogeographical significance of these fossils and their phylogenetic relationship with previously described onychophorans are discussed, and the erection of the class Udeonychophora n.

History of Onychophorology, 1826-2020

This is the first general history of onychophorology, and I have divided it into half century periods for an evolutionary approach to everything, from body and behavior to distribution.

Onychophorology, the study of velvet worms, historical trends, landmarks, and researchers from 1826 to 2020 (a literature review)

This is the first general history of Onychophorology, which has been divided into half-century periods, with research centered in Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Germany and marked by an evolutionary approach.

Carboniferous Onychophora from Montceau‐les‐Mines, France, and onychophoran terrestrialization

A fossil species from the Late Carboniferous Montceau‐les‐Mines Lagerstätte, France, informally referred to as an onychophoran for more than 30 years is described and is considered the most compelling candidate to date for a terrestrial Paleozoic onyChophoran.

A living fossil tale of Pangaean biogeography

A time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of Onychophora (velvet worms), an ancient and exclusively terrestrial panarthropod group distributed throughout former Pangaean landmasses, demonstrates that trans-oceanic dispersal does not need be invoked to explain contemporary distributions, and reveals that the early diversification of the group pre-dates the break-up of Pangaea.



The oldest ‘onychophoran’Xenusion: a link connecting phyla?

The second specimen of Xenurion auerswaldae Pompeckj 1927, found in an erratic boulder of the basal Cambrian Kalmarsund sandstone in Hiddensee island, GDR, appears to represent the part of the body missing in the holotype, enabling reconstruction of the whole animal, which was of rather simple anatomical organization.


A lobopod animal described from two specimens preserved in siderite concretions from the Middle Pennsylvanian Francis Creek Shale, Illinois, characterized by a long, vermiform trunk bearing 21 or more pairs of short, lobose limbs ventro-laterally placed.

The Geographical Distribution of the Onycophora

Three mountain genera, Orestias, Pygidium and Astroblepus and some of the species of Chmtostomus, a mailed catfish, belong to an ecological group and obey laws of distribution quite different from those of the lower slopes of the Andes.

The Lobopod Animal Aysheaia pedunculata Walcott, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia

Aysheaia pedunculata is one of the rarer animals in the Burgess Shale, occurring in association with arthropods and worms, and to an exceptional extent with sponge fragments, and it is not placed in either group, nor in any taxon of higher rank than Family Aysheaiidae.

Ruhberg, in Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates

  • 1993

The Arthropoda: Habits, Functional Morphology and Evolution

Poinar Jr., Life in Amber (Stanford

  • 1992

Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates

  • 1991

Poinar for comments and J. Santiago-Blay for assistance with obtaining literature on velvet worms. The specimens are deposited in the Poinar Amber Collection maintained at Oregon State University