A new species of Hallucigenia from the Cambrian Stage 4 Wulongqing Formation of Yunnan (South China) and the structure of sclerites in lobopodians


Authors: Steiner M, Hu SX, Liu J, Keupp H

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 87, issue 1; pages: 107 - 124; Received 18 April 2011; Accepted in revised form 6 October 2011; Online 2 February 2012

Keywords: Cambrian, lobopodians, Hallucigenia, Guanshan, fossil Lagerstätte, sclerites,

full text (PDF, 5.64 MB)

Export to RIS



Hallucigenia hongmeia sp. nov. and Hallucigenia sparsa are described from the Cambrian Stage 4 Guanshan fossil Lagerstätte of Wulongqing Formation from Guangwei in Kunming district, Yunnan Province, South China. The paired trunk sclerites of lobopodians reveal a general net-like microstructure, which is documented for the genera Hallucigenia, Onychodictyon and Microdictyon. This microstructure is comparable to a similar microstructure in paired trunk sclerites of the palaeoscolecidan sensu lato Cricocosmia and Tabelliscolex. The net-like trunk sclerites of lobopodians are interpreted as having carried numerous sensory or secretory papillae. Lobopodian sclerites such as Hallucigenia, Onychodictyon and Microdictyon and the palaeoscolecidans s.l. Cricocosmia and Tabellicsolex were primarily composed of tanned organic structures. Duplicates of trunk sclerites in Microdictyon and Cricocosmia point to a moulting of the external cuticle. The structure and form of prominent claws in Hallucigenia hongmeia sp. nov. are interpreted as indicative of an adapted lifestyle in the epibenthos.


Bengtson, S. 1991. Paleontology - Oddballs from the Cambrian Start to Get Even. Nature 351(6323), 184-185. View article

Bengtson, S. 2004. Early skeletal fossils, 67-77. In Lipps, J.H. & Waggoner, B.M. (eds) Neoproterozoic-Cambrian biological revolutions. Volume 10. Yale University Reprographics & Imaging Systems, New Haven, Connecticut.

Bengtson, S., Matthews, S.C. & Missarzhevsky, V.V. 1986. The Cambrian netlike fossil Microdictyon, 97-115. In Hoffman, A. & Nitecki, M.H. (eds) Problematic Fossil Taxa. Volume 5. Oxford University Press, New York.

Briggs, D.E.G., Erwin, D.H. & Collier, F.J. 1994. The fossils of the Burgess Shale. 238 pp. Smithonian Institution Press, Washington & London.

Budd, G.E. 1999. The morphology and phylogenetic significance of Kerygmachela kierkegaardi Budd (Buen Formation, Lower Cambrian, N Greenland). Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Earth Sciences 89, 249-290. View article

Chen, J., Hou, X. & LU, H. 1989. Early Cambrian netted scalebearing worm-like sea animal. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 28(1), 1-16. [in Chinese with English summary]

Chen, J. & Zhou, G. 1997. Biology of the Chengjiang fauna. Bulletin of National Museum of Natural Science 10, 11-105.

Chen, J., Zhou, G. & Ramsköld, L. 1995. The Cambrian Lobopodian Microdictyon sinicum. Bulletin of the National Museum of Natural Science 5, 1-93.

Conway Morris, S. 1977. A new Metazoan from the Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia. Palaeontology 20(3), 623-640.

ConwayMorris, S. 1998. The Crucible of Creation. 242 pp. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Cuénot, L. 1926. L’entonnoir vibratile de la néphridie des Péripates. Annales de la Société royale zoologique de Belgique 56.

Demidenko, Y.E. 2006. New Cambrian lobopods and chaetognaths of the Siberian Platform. Paleontological Journal 40(3), 234-243. View article

Dzik, J. 2003. Early Cambrian lobopodian sclerites and associated fossils from Kazakhstan. Palaeontology 46(1), 93-112. View article

Dzik, J. & Krumbiegel, G. 1989. The oldest “onychophoran” Xenusion: a link connecting phyla? Lethaia 22, 169-181. View article

Gould, S.J. 1989. Wonderful life - The Burgess Shale and the nature of history. 347 pp. W.W. Norton & Company, New York.

Han, J., Liu, J., Zhang, Z., Zhang, X. & Shu, D. 2007. Trunk ornament on the palaeoscolecid worms Cricocosmia and Tabelliscolex from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang deposits of China. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 52(2), 423-431.

Harvey, T.H.P., Dong, X. & Donoghue, P.C.J. 2010. Are palaeoscolecids ancestral ecdysozoans? Evolution & Development 12(2), 177-200. View article

Hou, X., Aldridge, R.J., Bergström, J., Siveter, David, J., Siveter, Derek, J. & Feng, X.-H. 2004. The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China. 233 pp. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Oxford.

Hou, X. & Bergström, J. 1995. Cambrian lobopodians-ancestors of extant onychophorans. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 114, 3-19. View article

Hu, S., Zhu, M., Steiner, M., Luo, H., Zhao, F. & Liu, Q. 2010. Biodiversity and taphonomy of the Early Cambrian Guanshan biota, eastern Yunnan. Science China, Earth Sciences 53(12), 1765-1773. View article

Li, G., Steiner, M., Zhu, X.J., Yang, A.,Wang, H. & Erdtmann, B.-D. 2007. Early Cambrian metazoan fossil record of South China: Generic diversity and radiation patterns. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 254(1-2), 229-249. View article

Liu, J., Han, J., Simonetta, A.M., Hu, S., Zhang, Z., Yao, Y. & Shu, D. 2006. New observations of the lobopod-like worm Facivermis from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte. Chinese Science Bulletin 51(3), 358-363. View article

Liu, J., Ou, Q., Han, J., Zhang, Z., He, T., Yao, X., Fu, D. & Shu, D. 2012. New occurrence of the Cambrian (Stage 4, Series 2) Guanshan Biota in Huize, Yunnan, South China. Bulletin of Geosciences 87(x), xxx-xxx.View article

Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J. & Zhang, Z. 2004. A rare lobopod with well-preserved eyes from Chengjiang Lagerstätte and its implications for origin of arthropods. Chinese Science Bulletin 49(10), 1063-1071. View article

Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J. & Zhang, Z. 2008. Comparative study of Cambrian lobopods Miraluolishania and Luolishania. Chinese Science Bulletin 53(1), 87-93. View article

Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J., Zhang, Z. & Zhang, X. 2007. Morpho-anatomy of the lobopod Magadictyon cf. haikouensis from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, South China. Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 88(4), 279-288. View article

Liu, J., Steiner, M., Dunlop, J.A., Keupp, H., Shu, D., Ou, Q., Han, J., Zhang, Z. & Zhang, X. 2011. An armoured Cambrian lobopodian from China with arthropod-like appendages. Nature 470(7335), 526-530. View article

Luo, H., Hu, S., Chen, L., Zhang, S. & Tao, Y. 1999. Early Cambrian Chengjiang fauna from Kunming region, China. 129 pp. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, China.

Luo, H., Li, Y., Hu, S., Fu, X., Hou, S., Liu, X., Chen, L., Li, F., Pang, J. & Liu, Q. 2008. Early Cambrian Malong and Guanshan Fauna from Eastern Yunnan, China. 134 pp. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming.

Maas, A., Mayer, G., Kristensen, R.M. & Waloszek, D. 2007. A Cambrian micro-lobopodian and the evolution of arthropod locomotion and reproduction. Chinese Science Bulletin 52(24), 3385-3392. View article

Ou, Q., Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J., Zhang, Z., Wan, X. & Lei, Q. 2011. A rare onychophoran-like lobopodian from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, Southwestern China, and its phylogenetic implications. Journal of Paleontology 85(3), 587-594. View article

Pompeckj, J.F. 1927. Ein Zeugnis uralten Lebens. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 9(1-3), 287-313.View article

Ramsköld, L. 1992. The second leg row of Hallucigenia discovered. Lethaia 25, 221-224. View article

Ramsköld, L.&Chen, J. 1998. Cambrian lobopodians: Morphology and phylogeny, 107-150. In Edgecombe, G.D. (ed.) Arthropod fossils and phylogeny. Columbia University Press, New York.

Scudder, S.H. 1890. New Carboniferous Myriapoda from Illinois. Boston Society of Natural History, Memoir 4, 417-442.

Snodgrass, R.E. 1938. Evolution of the Annelida, Onychophora, and Arthropoda. Smithonian Miscellaneous Collections 97(6), 1-159.

Steiner, M. 2008. Taphonomy of Early Cambrian phosphatic fossil remains from South China. Erlanger Geologische Abhandlungen, Sonderband 6, 64-65.

Steiner, M., Li, G., Hu, S. & Keupp, H. 2010. Soft-tissue preservation in small shelly faunas. Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, Denver 42(5), 359.

Steiner, M., Zhu, M., Li, G., Qian, Y. & Erdtmann, B.-D. 2004. New Early Cambrian bilaterian embryos and larvae from China. Geology 32(10), 833-836. View article

Van Roy, P., Orr, P.J., Botting, J.P., Muir, L.A., Vinther, J., Lefebvre, B., Hariri, K. el & Briggs, D.E.G. 2010. Ordovician faunas of Burgess Shale type. Nature 465(7295), 215-218. View article

Vandel, A. 1949. Généralités composition de l’embranchement, 79-159. In Grassé, P.-P. (ed.) Traité de Zoologie. Volume VI. Masson et Cie, Paris.

Vannier, J., Steiner, M., Renvoisé, E., Hu, S. & Casanova, J.P. 2007. Early Cambrian origin of modern food webs: evidence from predator arrow worms. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences 274(1610), 627-633. View article

Waggoner, B.M. 1996. Phylogenetic hypotheses of the relationships of arthropods to Precambrian and Cambrian problematic fossil taxa. Systematic Biology 45(2), 190-222. View article

Walcott, C.D. 1911. Cambrian geology and paleontology II, No. 5 - Middle Cambrian Annelids. Smithonian Miscellaneous Collections 57(5), 109-144.

Zhang, X. & Aldridge, R.J. 2007. Development and diversification of trunk plates of the Lower Cambrian lobopodians. Palaeontology 50, 401-415. View article

Zhang, X. & Pratt, B.R. 1996. Early Cambrian palaeoscolecid cuticles from Shaanxi, China. Journal of Paleontology 70(2), 275-279.View article

Zhao, Y., Yuan, J., Zhu, M., Yang, R., Guo, Q., Qian, Y., Huang, Y. & Pan, Y. 1999. A progress report on research on the early Middle Cambrian Kaili biota, Guizhou, PRC. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, Supplement 38, 1-14.

Zhuravlev, A.Y. 2001. Biotic diversity and structure during the Neoproterozoic-Ordovician transition, 173-199. In Zhuravlev, A.Y. & Riding, R. (eds) The Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation. Columbia University Press, New York.