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Evaluating scenarios for the evolutionary assembly of the brachiopod body plan.
University of Bristol.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
Paul Scherrer Institute. (Swiss Light Source)
Westfälische Wilhelms University.
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2014 (English)In: Evolution & Development, ISSN 1520-541X, E-ISSN 1525-142X, Vol. 16, no 1, 13-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The fossil faunas of the Cambrian provide the only direct insight into the assembly of animal body plans. However, for many animal groups, their early fossil record is linked to disarticulated remains, interpretation of which is problematic since they possess few characters from which their affinity to phyla can be established and, indeed, few characters at all. One such group is the tommotiids, which has been interpreted, on the basis of skeletal anatomy, as a paraphyletic assemblage uniting brachiopods and phoronids, through the acquisition and subsequent modification, or loss, of an imbricated set of dorsal phosphatic sclerites. Here we present a reexamination of the fossil evidence uniting the tommotiids and brachiopods, supplemented with new anatomical data from synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy of key tommotiid taxa. The characters used to support the complex hypothesis of character evolution in the brachiopod stem lineage relies on scleritome reconstructions and inferred mode of life which themselves rely on brachiopods being chosen as the interpretative model. We advocate a more conservative interpretation of the affinity of these fossils, based a priori on their intrinsic properties, rather than the modern analogue in whose light they have been interpreted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 16, no 1, 13-24 p.
Keyword [en]
Cambrian, Tommotiida, Brachiopoda, Histology, Phylogeny
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Zoology Geology
Research subject
Ecosystems and species history
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-587DOI: 10.1111/ede.12059OAI: diva2:741392
Swedish Research Council, 2010-3929
Available from: 2014-08-27 Created: 2014-08-27

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Murdock et al. 2014(4459 kB)64 downloads
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