Cambrian palaeoscolecids (Cycloneuralia) from Gondwana and reappraisal of species assigned to Palaeoscolex

Diego C. García-Bellido*, John R. Paterson, Gregory D. Edgecombe

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The discovery of new palaeoscolecid material (Cycloneuralia) from the Emu Bay Shale Konservat-Lagerstätte of Kangaroo Island, South Australia (Cambrian Series 2, Stage 4) and from the Murero biota of NE Spain (Cambrian Series 3, Stage 5-Drumian) has prompted a reappraisal of Palaeoscolex Whittard, 1953, the genus to which species from these, and other Cambrian localities, have most recently been assigned. Available data from scanning electron microscopy show the presence of Hadimopanella-type sclerites covering the surface of these taxa, permitting taxonomic schemes based on microfossils and whole-body compression fossils to be reconciled. The sclerite pattern, size and shape indicate that several of the Cambrian species assigned to Palaeoscolex need to be reassigned to Wronascolex Ivantsov and Zhuravlev, 2005, a genus originally described from Siberia. The studied material includes Wronascolex antiquus (. Glaessner, 1979) and Wronascolex iacoborum sp. nov. from Kangaroo Island (Australia) and two new specimens of Wronascolex? from the Iberian Ranges (Spain). SEM examination of the types of Palaeoscolex ratcliffei Robison, 1969, a Cambrian species from Utah to which Murero material has been compared, suggests that this species should possibly be assigned to Wronascolex. These taxa are also considered in a Cambrian palaeobiogeographic context, together with the presence of isolated Hadimopanella sclerites, showing a distribution of Wronascolex largely confined to palaeotropical environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)780-795
    Number of pages16
    JournalGondwana Research
    Volume24
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

    Keywords

    • Australia
    • Cambrian
    • Palaeoscolecida
    • Spain
    • Wronascolex

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