Lower Cambrian vertebrates from south China

  title={Lower Cambrian vertebrates from south China},
  author={De-gan Shu and Hl Luo and Simon Conway Morris and X-L. Zhang and S-X. Hu and L. Chen and J. Han and Ming Zhu and Y. Li and L-Z. Chen},
The first fossil chordates are found in deposits from the Cambrian period (545–490 million years ago), but their earliest record is exceptionally sporadic and is often controversial. Accordingly, it has been difficult to construct a coherent phylogenetic synthesis for the basal chordates. Until now, the available soft-bodied remains have consisted almost entirely of cephalochordate-like animals from Burgess Shale-type faunas. Definite examples of agnathan fish do not occur until the Lower… 
A primitive fish from the Cambrian of North America
Phylogenetic analysis places Metaspriggina as a basal vertebrate, apparently close to the Chengjiang taxa Haikouichthys and Myllokunmingia, demonstrating also that this primitive group of fish was cosmopolitan during Lower–Middle Cambrian times.
A lamprey from the Devonian period of South Africa
A marine/estuarine fossil lamprey from the Famennian (Late Devonian) of South Africa is reported, the identity of which is established easily because many of the key specializations of modern forms are already in place, evidence that agnathans close to modern lampreys had evolved before the end of the Devonian period.
Primitive deuterostomes from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Lower Cambrian, China)
Several features of the Chengjiang fossil-Lagerstätte suggest that this group can throw light on an early stage of deuterostome diversification, and provide evidence for a new group of metazoans, the vetulicolians.
Global Ordovician vertebrate biogeography
Early Jawless Vertebrates and Cyclostome Origins
  • P. Janvier
  • Geography, Environmental Science
    Zoological science
  • 2008
The anatomy and physiology of lampreys and hagfishes are so different that it is difficult to reconstruct an ancestral morphotype of the cyclostomes, assuming that they are a clade, and there is no clear evidence of any fossil taxon that is neither a fossil hagfish nor a fossil lamprey, but would be more closely related to the Cyclostomes than to the gnathostomes.
A Redescription of a Rare Chordate, Metaspriggina walcotti Simonetta and Insom, from the Burgess Shale (Middle Cambrian), British Columbia, Canada
  • S. Morris
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2008
The relative abundance of agnathan hagfish and lamprey from the Chengjiang Lagerstatte, but near total absence from equivalent fossil deposits, raises important and related questions about the earliest history of the fish.
The earliest history of the deuterostomes: the importance of the Chengjiang Fossil-Lagerstätte
The known diversity of Chengjiang deuterostomes are reviewed and it is argued that the vetulicolians and yunnanozoans represent very primitive deuterOSTomes, as well as new data to indicate that the yunncozoans are unlikely to be any sort of chordate.
The Chengjiang Biota: Record of the Early Cambrian Diversification of Life and Clues to Exceptional Preservation of Fossils
The Chengjiang Biota, from Yunnan, China, is the most diverse assemblage of Early Cambrian marine fossils known. Just like the celebrated Burgess Shale (Middle Cambrian) of British Columbia, Canada,
An Early Cambrian tunicate from China
A probable tunicate Cheungkongella ancestralis from the Chengjiang fauna is reported that resembles the extant ascidian tunicate genus Styela whose morphology could be useful in understanding the origin of the vertebrates.


A Pikaia-like chordate from the Lower Cambrian of China
A single specimen of a Lower Cambrian chordate, Cathaymyrus diadexus, new genus and species, that is similar to Pikaia but predates it by about 10 million years (Myr).
A pipiscid-like fossil from the Lower Cambrian of south China
A possible pipiscid, a metazoan previously known only from the Upper Carboniferous, is described from the Lower Cambrian of south China, and this discovery from the Chengjiang fossil-Lagerstätte indicates that the assignment of pipiscids to the Agnatha deserves to be reconsidered.
A possible Late Cambrian vertebrate from Australia
The Australian material provides an alternative model for early vertebrate dermal armour with which to assess the vertebrate-like hard tissues in conodonts12,13 and the dermal Armour of Anatolepis4–6,14.
Cambrian Protochordata, their origin and significance
Abstract A survey of the available palaeontological and recent evidence points to the following interim conclusions: (a) animals belonging to the chordate lineage occurred in the Middle Cambrian,
A possible Early Cambrian chordate
The first chordate recorded from the Early Cambrian is the ceph-alochordate Yunnanozoon lividum from the 525 million-year-old Chengjiang fauna and predicts that other chordate clades (tunicates and craniates) had evolved by the Late Atdabanian, in the main burst of the Cambrian Explosion.
Reinterpretation of Yunnanozoon as the earliest known hemichordate
Yunnanozoon is reinterpreted here as the earliest known hemichordate, and its typical tripartite body plan is broadly consistent with that of living balanoglossid hemichor-dates (enteropneusts).
Origin of the metazoan phyla: molecular clocks confirm paleontological estimates.
This work has analyzed 18 protein-coding gene loci and estimated that protostomes (arthropods, annelids, and mollusks) diverged from deuterostomes about 670 million years ago, and chordates from echinoderms about 600 million years old, consistent with paleontological estimates.
Articulated Halkieriids from the Lower Cambrian of North Greenland and their Role in Early Protostome Evolution
The hypothesis of halkieriids and their relatives having a key role in annelid-brachiopod-mollusc evolution is in accord with some earlier proposals and recent evidence from molecular biology, but casts doubt on a number of favoured concepts.
Ordovician microvertebrate remains from the Amadeus Basin, central Australia
ABSTRACT Microvertebrate remains are described from five formations (Pacoota Sandstone, Horn Valley Siltstone, Stairway Sandstone, Stokes Formation, Carmichael Sandstone) in the Ordovician sequence
Fossils, molecules and embryos: new perspectives on the Cambrian explosion.
The distribution of Hox and other developmental control genes among metazoans indicates that an extensive patterning system was in place prior to the Cambrian, and it is likely that much genomic repatterning occurred during the Early Cambrian.