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New well-preserved scleritomes of Chancelloriida from early Cambrian Guanshan Biota, eastern Yunnan, China

  • Jun Zhao (a1) (a2), Guo-Biao Li (a1) (a2) and Paul A. Selden (a3) (a4)

A large number of well-preserved chancelloriid scleritomes from the Guanshan biota, early Cambrian of Yunnan, China, are described as a new species, Allonnia tenuis n. sp., and provide solid evidence for the original appearance of these enigmatic animals, based on specimens compacted laterally and top-down. With the assistance of a flexible integument, chancelloriids, especially Allonnia from early and middle Cambrian, may have had the ability to partially or completely expand and contract the body, which might have played an important role in feeding. A new metazoan with single-element spines, Nidelric gaoloufangensis n. sp., is also described. Preservation and affinity are discussed. Detailed comparison of the morphology of the body and spines of this metazoan indicate that it shares many similarities with chancelloriids, of which it may be an unusual form.


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