Epibionts on the lingulate brachiopod Diandongia from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstatte, South China
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 277, 175-181 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The classic Chengjiang Lagerstatte (Lower Cambrian, Atdabanian stage: Yu'anshan Formation) Yunnan, southwestern China, has yielded, besides the exceptional and often controversial soft-bodied fossils, a fauna of primitive/early lingulid brachiopods. Diandongia pista (Rong 1974) is one of the commonest and most strongly mineralized of the phosphatic brachiopods from the Lagerstatte. The shells of this species have been found to commonly serve as a basibiont host. Epibionts comprise the coeval brachiopod Longtancunella chengjiangensis and the cone-shaped cnidarian-related Archotuba conoidalis, as well as rounded smaller-sized epizoans (lesser than 2 mm). A principle morphological analysis demonstrates that the ovoid and rounded organisms that often occur along the commissure of D. pista resemble small juvenile or immature brachiopods. Epibiont-bearing shells of D. pista with soft-tissue preservation demonstrate that the host brachiopods were overgrown while alive, and provide an argument for D. pista having a semiinfaunal life style with only the slim pedicle embedded in sediment. The epibiotic association sheds direct light on the ecology of Cambrian brachiopods in soft-substrate marine environments. The Chengjiang fossils demonstrate that the Early Cambrian brachiopods, as compared with recent lingulids, occupied different and a wider spectrum of ecological niches and tiers of space.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 277, 175-181 p.
Early Cambrian, Brachiopoda, lingulids, Chengjiang Lagerstätte, soft-tissue preservation, epibiosis
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-135279DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0618OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-135279DiVA: diva2:374730