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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.

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Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of The Royal Society of Edinburgh
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