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Keywords:

  • Tsinaniidae;
  • North China;
  • paraphyly;
  • evolution;
  • trilobite

Abstract

The Furongian trilobite family Tsinaniidae is characterized by a highly effaced surface and forms an important constituent of the Furongian trilobite faunas of east Gondwana. However, the origin of the characteristic morphology of this family has remained unclear. Only recently has the tsinaniid trilobite Lonchopygella megaspina been suggested to represent an intermediate stage in the evolutionary transition to other tsinaniids on the basis of the trunk segmentation. Here, we report successive occurrences of four species of the kaolishaniid genus Mansuyia and a tsinaniid trilobite Tsinania canens from the Furongian (late Cambrian) Chaomidian Formation in Shandong Province, China. A cladistic analysis including these taxa reveals that the four species of Mansuyia constitute stem-group taxa to the family Tsinaniidae, rendering Mansuyia and the Kaolishaniidae paraphyletic. The youngest species of Mansuyia, M. taianfuensis, turns out to be the immediate sister taxon of the Tsinaniidae, displaying a closely similar morphology to the tsinaniid trilobite, Shergoldia laevigata. The generic and familial boundary therefore situated between M. taianfuensis and S. laevigata.