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A late surviving xenopod (Arthropoda) from the Ordovican Period, Wales

  • DAVID A. LEGG (a1) and THOMAS W. HEARING (a2) (a3)

The Middle Ordovician Llanfallteg Formation has yielded remains of soft-bodied organisms previously known only from Cambrian Burgess Shale-type deposits. A new arthropod Etania howellsorum gen. et sp. nov. is described here, characterized by a semi-circular cephalon, clusters of spinose endites on the endopod and exopods with ovoid distal lobes. These characters are consistent with xenopod affinities, a clade otherwise known exclusively from the Cambrian Period. The discovery of E. howellsorum demonstrates that a number of Burgess Shale-type taxa, including xenopods, survived past the Cambrian Period (albeit within a restricted environment) and may have been outcompeted during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event (GOBE).

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