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A Silurian short-great-appendage arthropod

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 15:00 by D. J. Siveter, D. E. G. Briggs, David J. Siveter, M. D. Sutton, D. Legg, S. Joomun
A new arthropod, Enalikter aphson gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Silurian (Wenlock Series) Herefordshire Lagerstätte of the UK. It belongs to the Megacheira (=short-great-appendage group), which is recognized here, for the first time, in strata younger than mid-Cambrian age. Discovery of this new Silurian taxon allows us to identify a Devonian megacheiran representative, Bundenbachiellus giganteus from the Hunsrück Slate of Germany. The phylogenetic position of megacheirans is controversial: they have been interpreted as stem chelicerates, or stem euarthropods, but when Enalikter and Bundenbachiellus are added to the most comprehensive morphological database available, a stem euarthropod position is supported. Enalikter represents the only fully three-dimensionally preserved stem-group euarthropod, it falls in the sister clade to the crown-group euarthropods, and it provides new insights surrounding the origin and early evolution of the euarthropods. Recognition of Enalikter and Bundenbachiellus as megacheirans indicates that this major arthropod group survived for nearly 100 Myr beyond the mid-Cambrian.

Funding

We thank the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC grant no. NE/F018037/1) and English Nature for financial support

History

Citation

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281: 20132986

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281: 20132986

Publisher

Royal Society, The

issn

0962-8452

eissn

1471-2954

Acceptance date

19/12/2013

Copyright date

2014

Available date

22/02/2016

Publisher version

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1778/20132986

Notes

Virtual models of the three Enalikter specimens in VAXML format (see [21]): Dryad doi:10.5061/dryad.jb0t7. Phylogenetic data matrix in NEXUS format: electronic supplementary material, table S1.

Language

en