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A new species of the artiopodan arthropod Acanthomeridion from the lower Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, China, and the phylogenetic significance of the genus

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posted on 2016-09-28, 09:52 authored by Xianguang Hou, Mark Williams, Sarah Gabbott, David J. Siveter, Derek J. Siveter, Peiyun Cong, Xiaoya Ma, Robert Sansom

New material of the rare arthropod Acanthomeridion, including Acanthomeridion anacanthus sp. nov., is described from the lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota, Yunnan Province, China. The material includes a specimen with paired gut diverticulae along the length of the mid-gut that resemble structures in other artiopodan arthropods such as naraoiids. Previous phylogenetic analyses have indicated a petalopleuran/xandarellid affinity for Acanthomeridion, but our analysis resolves Acanthomeridion outside the main subclades of the Artiopoda (Aglaspidida + Trilobita, Nektaspida, Cheloniellida + Xenopoda, Conciliterga, Petalopleura (including Xandarellida)) as the most basal artiopodan.


We acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers U1302232 and 41372031), the Royal Society (grant number IE131457), and the Leverhulme Trust (grant number EM-2014-068) for this research