Skip to main content

Kleptothule rasmusseni gen. et sp. nov.: an ?olenellinid-like trilobite from the Sirius Passet fauna (Buen Formation, Lower Cambrian, North Greenland)

  • Graham E. Budd (a1)

The Lower Cambrian Sirius Passet fauna from Peary Land, North Greenland, is a rich repository of soft-bodied and poorly-sclerotised fossils. A new arthropod from the fauna, Kleptothule rasmusseni, is described. The animal is broadly trilobite-like, possessing a trilobed exoskeleton which is divided into distinct cephalic, thoracic and caudal regions. However, it is unusual in that it possesses a large number of segments, and demonstrates pronounced cephalic segmentation, and a very narrow cephalon and thorax. There is some evidence that the exoskeleton was lightly mineralised.

Kleptothule is compared to some of the olenellimd trilobites, especially those taxa that possess a many-segmented ‘opisthothorax’. Its morphology raises some issues discussed by Lauterbach (1983) in his assignment of some olenellids to the stem-group of the chelicerates. However, it is not considered herein that such a model can be supported. A complete analysis of basal trilobites and the stem-group leading to them must await a fuller description of key taxa from China and Greenland.

Hide All
Bergström, J. 1973. Organization, life, and systematics of trilobites. FOSSILS & STRATA 2, 169.
Blaker, M. R. 1988. A new genus of nevadiid trilobite from the Buen Formation (Early Cambrian) of Peary Land, central North Greenland. RAPP GRøNLAND GEOL UNDERS 137, 3341.
Briggs, D. E. G. & Collins, D. 1988. A Middle Cambrian chelicerate from Mount Stephen, British Columbia. PALAEONTOLOGY 31, 779–98.
Briggs, D. E. G. & Fortey, R. A. 1989. The early radiation and relationships of the major arthropod groups. SCIENCE 246, 241–43.
Briggs, D. E. G., Fortey, R. A. & Wills, M. A. 1992. Morphological disparity in the Cambrian. SCIENCE 256, 1670–73.
Bryant, I. D. & Pickerill, R. K. 1990. Lower Cambrian trace fossils from the Buen Formation of central North Greenland: preliminary observations. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 147, 4462.
Budd, G. 1993. A Cambrian gilled lobopod from Greenland. NATURE 364, 709–11.
Butterfield, N. J. 1994. Burgess Shale-type fossils from a Lower Cambrian shallow-shelf sequence in northwestern Canada. NATURE 369, 477–79.
Chen, J.-Y. & Erdtmann, B. D. 1991. Lower Cambrian Lagerstdtte from Chengjiang, Yunnan, China: insights for reconstruction early metazoan life. In Simonetta, A. M. & Conway Morris, S. (eds) The Early Evolution of Metazoa and the Significance of Problematic Taxa, 5776. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chen, J.-Y., Ramskold, L. & Zhou, G.-Q. 1994. Evidence for monophyly and arthropod affinity of Cambrian giant predators. SCIENCE 264, 1304–08.
Christie, R. L. & Ineson, J. R. 1979. Precambrian-Silurian geology of the G.B. Schley Fjord region, eastern Peary Land, North Greenland. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 88, 6371.
Conway Morris, S. 1986. The community structure of the Middle Cambrian Phyllopod Bed (Burgess Shale). PALAEONTOLOGY 29, 423–68.
Conway Morris, S. 1989. The persistence of Burgess Shale-type faunas: implications for the evolution of deeper-water faunas. TRANS R SOC EDINBURGH: EARTH SCI 80, 271–83.
Conway Morris, S. & Peel, J. S. 1990. Articulated halkieriids from the Lower Cambrian of North Greenland. NATURE 345, 802–04.
Conway Morns, S. & Peel, J. S. 1995. Articulated halkieriids from the Lower Cambrian of North Greenland and their role in early protostome evolution. PHIL TRANS R SOC LONDON B347, 305–58.
Conway Morris, S., Peel, J. S.Higgins, A. K., Soper, N. J. & Davis, N. C. 1987. A Burgess Shale-like fauna from the Lower Cambrian of North Greenland. NATURE 345, 802–05.
Davis, N. C. & Higgins, A. K. 1987. Cambrian-Lower Silurian stratigraphy in the fold and thrust zone between northern Nyeboe Land and J. P. Koch Fjord, North Greenland. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 133, 91–8.
Delle Cave, L. & Simonetta, A. M. 1991. Early Palaeozoic Arthropods and problems of arthropod phylogeny: with some notes on taxa of doubtful affinity. In Simonetta, A. M. & Conway Morris, S. (eds) The Early Evolution of Metazoa and the Significance of Problematic Taxa, 189244. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dohrn, A. 1871. Untersuchungen iiber Bau und Entwickelung der Arthropoden. JENA Z NATURWISS 6, 580610.
Dzik, J. & Lendzion, K. 1988. The oldest arthropods of the East European Platform. LETHAIA 21, 2938.
Fortey, R. A. 1990. Ontogeny, hypostome attachment and trilobite classification. PALAEONTOLOGY 33, 529–76.
Fortey, R. A. & Whittington, H. B. 1989. The Trilobita as a natural group. HIST BIOL 2, 125–38.
Friderichsen, J. D. & Bengaard, H.-J. 1985. The North Greenland fold belt in eastern Nansen Land. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 126, 6978.
Fritz, W. F. 1972. Lower Cambrian trilobites from the Sekwi Formation type section, Mackenzie Mountains, Northwestern Canada. GEOL SURV CAN BULL 212, 190.
Gould, S. J. 1989. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. New York: W. W. Norton and Co.
Higgins, A. K., Ineson, J. R.Peel, J. S., Surlyk, F. & Sonderholm, M. 1991. Lower Palaeozoic Franklinian Basin of North Greenland. BULL GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 160, 71139.
Hou, X. G., Ramskold, L. & Bergström, J. 1991. Composition and preservation of the Chengjiang fauna—a Lower Cambrian soft- bodied biota. ZOOL SCR 20, 395411.
Hurst, J. M. & Peel, J. S. 1979. Late Proterozoic(?) to Silurian stratigraphy of southern Wulff Land, North Greenland. RAPP GRøNLAND GEOL UNDERS 91, 3756.
Jepsen, H. F. 1971. The Precambrian, Eocambrian and early Palaeozoic stratigraphy of the Jorgen Branland Fjord area, Peary Land, North Greenland. BULL GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 96, 142.
Knoll, A. H. & Ohta, Y. 1988. Microfossils in metasediments from Prins Karls Forland, western Svalbard. POLAR RES 6, 5967.
Lane, P. D. & Rushton, A. W. A. 1992. A problematical trilobite from the Lower Cambrian of Freuchen Land, central North Greenland. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 154, 512.
Lauterbach, K.-E. 1980. Schlilsselereignisse in der Evolution des Grundplans der Arachnata (Arthropoda). ABH NATURWISS SCHAFTLICHEN VER HAMBURG 23, 163327.
Lauterbach, K.-E. 1983. Synapomorphien zwischen Trilobiten-Cheliceratenzweig der Arachnata. ZOOL ANZ 210, 213–38.
Palmer, A. R. 1957. Ontogenetic development of two olenellid trilobites. J PALEONTOL 31, 105–28.
Palmer, A. R. & Repina, L. N. 1993. Through a glass darkly: taxonomy, phylogeny and biostratigraphy of the Olenellina. UNIV KANSAS PALEONT CONTRIB (N.S.) 3, 135.
Pocock, K. J. 1970. The Emuellidae, a new family of trilobites from the Lower Cambrian of South Australia. PALAEONTOLOGY 13, 522–62.
Ramskold, L. & Edgecombe, G. D. 1991. Trilobite monophyly revisited. HIST BIOL 4, 267–83.
Rigby, J. K. 1986. Cambrian and Silurian sponges from North Greenland. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 132, 5163.
Romano, M., Chang, W. T., Dean, W. T., Edgecombe, G. D., Fortey, R. A., Holloway, D. J.Lane, P. D., Owen, A. W., Owens, R. M., Palmer, A. R., Rushton, A. W. A., Shergold, J. H., Siveter, D. J. & Whyte, M. A. 1993. Arthropoda (Trilobita). In Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2, 279–96. London: Chapman and Hall.
Soper, N. J. & Higgins, A. K. 1985. Thin-skinned structures at the basin-shelf transition in North Greenland. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 126, 8794.
Stormer, L. 1944. On the relationships and phylogeny of fossil and recent Arachnomorpha. A comparative study on Arachnida, Xiphosura, Eurypterida. Trilobita and other fossil Arthropoda. NORSK VIDENSKAPS-AKAD NATURVIDENSK KL 5, 1158.
Surlyk, F. & Hurst, J. M. 1983. Evolution of the early Palaeozoic deep-water basin of Greenland: Aulacogen or Narrow Ocean? GEOLOGY 11, 7781.
Surlyk, F. & Ineson, J. R. 1987. Aspects of the Franklinian shelf, slope and trough evolution and stratigraphy. RAPP GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 133, 4158.
Surlyk, F. 1991. Tectonostratigraphy of North Greenland. BULL GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 160, 2547.
Trettin, H. P. 1991. Tectonic Framework. In Trettin, H. P. (ed.) Geology of the Innuitian Orogen and Arctic Platform of Canada and Greenland no. 3, 5966. Geological Survey of Canada.
Vidal, G. & Peel, J. S. 1993. Acritarchs from the Lower Cambrian Buen Formation in North Greenland. BULL GR0NLAND GEOL UNDERS 164, 135.
Whittington, H. B. 1977. The Middle Cambrian Trilobite Naraoia, Burgess Shale, British Columbia. PHI LOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B271, 143.
Whittington, H. B. 1981. Paedomorphosis and Crytogenesis in trilobites. GEOL MAG 119, 591602.
Whittington, H. B. 1985a. The Burgess Shale. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Whittington, H. B. 1985b. Tegopelte gigas, a second soft-bodied trilobite from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia. J PALEONTOL 59, 1251–74.
Whittington, H. B. 1989. Olenelloid trilobites: type species, functional morphology and higher classification. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B324, 111–47.
Whittington, H. B. 1990. Articulation and exuviation in Cambrian trilobites. PHILOS TRANS R SOC LONDON B329 2746.
Whittington, H. B. 1994. Burlingiids: small proparian Cambrian trilobites of enigmatic origin. PALAEONTOLOGY 37, 116.
Wills, M. A., Briggs, D. E. G. & Fortey, R. A. 1994. Disparity as an evolutionary index: a comparison of Cambrian and Recent arthropods. PALEOBIOLOGY 20, 93130.
Woodward, H. 1867. On some points in the structure of the Xiphosura, having reference to their relationship with the Eurypteridae. Q J GEOL SOC LONDON 23, 2837.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • ISSN: 1755-6910
  • EISSN: 1755-6929
  • URL: /core/journals/earth-and-environmental-science-transactions-of-royal-society-of-edinburgh
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed