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

@article{Poinar1996FossilVW,
  title={Fossil Velvet Worms in Baltic and Dominican Amber: Onychophoran Evolution and Biogeography},
  author={George Poinar},
  journal={Science},
  year={1996},
  volume={273},
  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… 

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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