[Annelida] Burgess Shale-like creatures in the Ordovician - Nature

Geoff Read via annelida%40net.bio.net (by g.read from niwa.co.nz)
Thu May 13 15:35:45 EST 2010


Van Roy, P.; Orr, P.J.; Botting, J.P.; Muir, L.A.; Vinther, J.;
Lefebvre, B.; Hariri, K.e.; Briggs, D.E.G. (2010). Ordovician faunas of
Burgess Shale type. Nature 465(7295): 215-218. 13 May 2010

Letter to Nature: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature09038 
Editor summary:

"The Burgess Shale of British Columbia famously contains a remarkable
variety of fossils of soft-bodied creatures from the Middle Cambrian of
around 510 million years ago, offering a window on early animal life in
the sea. Similar faunas are now known from localities as far apart as
China and Greenland, but it was beginning to seem that such faunas had
died out by the end of the Middle Cambrian. But no. A 'Burgess
Shale-type' fauna has been found in the Lower and Upper Fezouata
formations of Morocco, dating from about 480–472 million years ago in
the Early Ordovician. Creatures of this type clearly persisted beyond
the Cambrian — a persistence with as much to do with the chances of
preserving soft-bodied fossils as with extinction and survival. The
Fezouata biota provides a link between Burgess Shale communities and the
early stages of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, one of
the most dramatic episodes in the history of marine life previously
represented almost exclusively by 'shelly' fossils."

There is an errant annelid with well-developed parapodia. Figured, not

 Geoff Read <g.read from niwa.co.nz>

NIWA is the trading name of the National Institute of Water &
Atmospheric Research Ltd.

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