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Shell structure, ornamentation and affinity of the problematic early Cambrian brachiopod Heliomedusa orienta
Department of Geology, Northwest University, Xi’an.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7677-5054
Uppsala Universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3629-0049
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7366-7680
Department of Geology, Northwest University, Xi’an.
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2020 (English)In: Lethaia: an international journal of palaeontology and stratigraphy, ISSN 0024-1164, E-ISSN 1502-3931, Vol. 53, no 4, p. 574-587Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The origin of the Brachiopoda has long been a hotly debated topic, and various models have been proposed following the latest finds of exceptionally preserved material. The lower Cambrian (Stage 3) Heliomedusa orienta from the Chengjiang Konservat‐Lagerstätte, eastern Yunnan of South China, is an important example of exceptional preservation. A wide variety of affinities have been proposed for Heliomedusa, but recently it has been suggested to reside within the mickwitziids, which may form a stem group to the Brachiopoda. Detailed studies of exceptionally preserved Heliomedusa have increased our knowledge of the soft‐part anatomy of this important early brachiopod, but unfortunately, almost nothing is known about its shell structure. Here, we describe new exceptionally preserved specimens from the Chengjiang biota to better reveal both shell structure and ornamentation. Its reticulate–pustulose ornament and tubular structure are reminiscent of traits seen in other mickwitziid brachiopods. In addition, two types of setae can be observed. Apart from the pyritized marginal mantle setae, some tubules are filled with iron oxides, potentially representing thinner and shorter penetrative setae. Both valves of H. orienta appear to have been less mineralized as compared to Mickwitzia monilifera, and the two species differ in diameter and density of tubules and pustules, and in terms of slightly less projected profile of ventral valve with lower umbo posteromedially placed. Although Heliomedusa clearly is closely related to Mickwitzia, their different preservational modes (compacted poorly mineralized/noncompacted mineralized) make detailed comparison difficult; they are provisionally kept as separate genera pending further studies of better‐preserved Chinese material.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 53, no 4, p. 574-587
Keywords [en]
Brachiopods, Heliomedusa, Mickwitzia, shell structure, ornamentation, affinity, setae
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Diversity of life
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-3876DOI: DOI 10.1111/let.12379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nrm-3876DiVA, id: diva2:1505445
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 2018‐03390Swedish Research Council, VR 2016‐04610Available from: 2020-12-01 Created: 2020-12-01 Last updated: 2020-12-01Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/let.12379

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