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A xandarellid artiopodan from Morocco – a middle Cambrian link between soft-bodied euarthropod communities in North Africa and South China

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posted on 08.03.2017, 15:42 by Javier Ortega-Hernández, Abdelfattah Azizi, Thomas W. Hearing, Thomas H. P. Harvey, Gregory D. Edgecombe, Ahmid Hafid, Khadija El Hariri
Xandarellida is a well-defined clade of Lower Palaeozoic non-biomineralized artiopodans that is exclusively known from the early Cambrian (Stage 3) Chengjiang biota of South China. Here we describe a new member of this group, Xandarella mauretanica sp. nov., from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Tatelt Formation of Morocco, making this the first non-trilobite Cambrian euarthropod known from North Africa. X. mauretanica sp. nov. represents the youngest occurrence of Xandarellida - extending its stratigraphic range by approximately 10 million years - and expands the palaeobiogeographic distribution of the group to the high southern palaeolatitudes of West Gondwana. The new species provides insights into the lightly sclerotized ventral anatomy of Xandarellida, and offers stratigraphically older evidence for a palaeobiogeographic connection between Burgess Shale-type euarthropod communities in North Africa and South China, relative to the (Tremadocian) Fezouata biota.

Funding

JOH is supported by a Herchel-Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship held at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge (UK). TWH is supported by NERC (CENTA) Studentship NE/L0022493/1, and a BGS University Funding Initiative CASE partnership (BUFI S266) which provided field work funding.

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Citation

Scientific Reports, 2017, 7, Article number: 42616

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Geology

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VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Scientific Reports

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

issn

2045-2322

Acceptance date

11/01/2017

Copyright date

2017

Available date

08/03/2017

Publisher version

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep42616

Language

en

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