Ontogeny of the redlichiid trilobite Eoredlichia intermediata from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte, lower Cambrian, southwest China

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Abstract

A detailed investigation of the morphology and ontogeny of the redlichioid trilobite Eoredlichia intermediata (Bulletin of the Geological Society of China, 3–4, 1940, 333) from the lower Cambrian Yu'anshan Member of the Heilinpu Formation, in Kunming, Yunnan Province, southwest China, is presented. The new material comprises a relatively complete ontogenetic series ranging from the early meraspid to the holaspid period, which reveals more details on morphological variation such as the appearance of bacculae in some holaspid specimens, contraction and disappearance of fixigenal spines, and macropleural spines of the first and second thoracic segments, which are all documented for the first time and can also be used as developmental markers defining ontogenetic phases. Two distinct morphotypes, possibly an expression of intraspecific variation or sexual dimorphism, are distinguished by the morphology of pleural spines of the second thoracic segment in meraspid degree 14 and holaspides. The trunk segmentation schedule of E. intermediata is also discussed and conforms to the protarthrous developmental mode. The distinction of the thoracic region into two portions can be observed during late meraspid and early holaspid periods, which might be considered as a reference for a better understanding on the relationship of tagmosis and growth segmentation among the Cambrian redlichiid trilobites.

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