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Morphology of the radiodontan Lyrarapax from the early Cambrian Chengjiang biota

  • Peiyun Cong (a1), Allison C. Daley (a2) (a3), Gregory D. Edgecombe (a4), Xianguang Hou (a1) and Ailin Chen (a1) (a5)...

The recently described radiodontan Lyrarapax unguispinus Cong et al., 2014 from the Chengjiang biota (Cambrian Series 2, Stage 3) highlighted a new morphological type of frontal appendage and unique mouth structures, a functional combination reinforcing the diversification of feeding strategies of radiodontans during the early Cambrian. Here we describe Lyrarapax trilobus n. sp. from the same fossil Konservat-Lagerstätte. The new species differs from L. unguispinus in the morphology and distribution of endites on the frontal appendage and the strengthening structure of the body flaps. The two species resemble each other in body shape (pattern of flap size), neck segment number, cephalic plates, and most importantly a mouth characterized by concentric wrinkled furrows. The latter confirms that a soft mouth without sclerotized plates is a real feature of Lyrarapax and supports the idea that oral structures provide valid diagnostic characters within Radiodonta.

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Journal of Paleontology
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