Skip to main content

Occurrence of Microdictyon from the lower Cambrian Xinji Formation along the southern margin of the North China Platform

  • Bing Pan (a1) (a2), Timothy P. Topper (a3), Christian B. Skovsted (a4), Lanyun Miao (a1) and Guoxiang Li (a1)...

Disarticulated net-like plates of the lobopod Microdictyon had a near cosmopolitan distribution from the early to middle Cambrian but are yet to be documented from the North China Platform. Here we report isolated plates of Microdictyon from the lower Cambrian Xinji Formation (Stage 4, Series 2) of the North China Platform, extending the paleogeographic distribution of Microdictyon in the early Cambrian. The plates of Microdictyon from the Xinji Formation are similar to those of other species established on the basis of isolated plates but do bear some new characters, such as mushroom-shaped nodes with a single inclined platform-like apex and an upper surface that displays radial lines. However, the plates documented here are left under open nomenclature due to inadequate knowledge of intraspecific and ontogenetic variation and low specimen numbers. Through comparison of the node shapes of the isolated plates of different Microdictyon species, we consider that low mushroom-shaped nodes could be a primitive and conservative character of Microdictyon while tall mushroom-shaped nodes may be a derived character. Subtle differences in shape and number of node apices may also represent intraspecific or ontogenetic variation.

Hide All
Bengtson, S., 1991, Oddballs from the Cambrian start to get even: Nature, v. 351, p. 184185.
Bengtson, S., Matthews, S.C., and Missarzhevsky, V.V., 1986, The Cambrian netlike fossil Microdictyon , in Hoffman, A., and Nitecki, M.H., eds., Problematic Fossil Taxa: Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, p. 97115.
Bengtson, S., Conway Morris, S., Cooper, B.J., Jell, P.A., and Runnegar, B.N., 1990, Early Cambrian fossils from South Australia: Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists, v. 9, p. 332335.
Bergström, J., and Hou, X., 2001, Cambrian Onychopora or Xenusians: Zoologischer Anzeiger, v. 240, p. 237245.
Betts, M.J., Paterson, J.R., Jago, J.B., Jacquet, S.M., Skovsted, C.B., Topper, T.P., and Brock, G.A., 2016, A new lower Cambrian shelly fossil biostratigraphy for South Australia: Gondwana Research, v. 36, p. 163195.
Betts, M.J., Paterson, J.R., Jago, J.B., Jacquet, S.M., Skovsted, C.B., Topper, T.P., and Brock, G.A., 2017, Global correlation of the early Cambrian of South Australia: Shelly fauna of the Dailyatia odyssei Zone: Gondwana Research, v. 46, p. 240279.
Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources of Shanxi Province 1989, [Regional Geology of Shanxi Province]: Beijing, Geological Publishing House, p. 116120 [in Chinese].
Chen, J., Hou, X., and Lu, H., 1989, [Early Cambrian netted scale-bearing wormlike sea animal]: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 28, p. 116 [in Chinese].
Chen, J., Zhou, G., and Ramsköld, L., 1995, The Cambrian lobopodian Microdictyon sinicum: Bulletin of the National Museum of Natural Science, v. 5, p. 193.
Conway Morris, S., 1977, A new metazoan from the Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia: Palaeontology, v. 20, p. 623640.
Conway Morris, S., 1985, The middle Cambrian metazoan Wiwaxia corrugata (Matthew) from the Burgess Shale and Ogygopsis Shale, British Columbia, Canada: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences, v. 307, p. 507582.
Conway Morris, S., and Peel, J.S., 1990, Articulated halkieriids from the lower Cambrian of north Greenland: Nature, v. 345, p. 802805.
Conway Morris, S., and Peel, J.S., 1995, Articulated halkieriids from the lower Cambrian of North Greenland and their role in early protostome evolution: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, v. 347, p. 305358.
Dean, W.T., 2005, Trilobites from de Çal tepe formation (Cambrian) near Seydeşehir, central Taurides, southwestern Turkey: Turkish Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 14, no. 1, p. 171.
Demidenko, Y.E., 2006, New Cambrian lobopods and chaetognaths of the Siberian Platform: Paleontological Journal, v. 40, no. 3, p. 234243.
Dzik, J., 2003, Early Cambrian lobopodian sclerites and associated fossils from Kazakhstan: Palaeontology, v. 46, p. 93112.
Dzik, J., and Krumbiegel, G., 1989, The oldest ‘onychophoran’ Xenusion: a link connecting phyla?: Lethaia, v. 22, p. 169181.
Esakova, N.V, and Zhegallo, E.A, 1996, [Biostratigraphy and fauna of the lower Cambrian of Mongolia]: Sovmestnaya Rossiisko-Mongolskaya Paleontologicheskaya Ekspeditsiya Trudy, v. 46, p. 1214 [in Russian].
Feng, W., Qian, Y., and Rong, Z., 1994, [Study of monoplacophora and gastropoda form lower Cambrian Xinji Formation in Yexian, Henan]: Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, v. 11, no. 1, p. 119 [in Chinese].
Gravestock, D.I., Alexander, E.M., Jago, J.B., Rozanov, A.Y., Zhuravlev, A.Y., et al., 2001, The Cambrian biostratigraphy of the Stansbury Basin, South Australia: Moscow, Transactions of the Palaeontological Institute, v. 282, p. 1344.
Hao, Y., and Shu, D., 1987, [The oldest known well preserved Pheodaria (Radiolaria) from Southern Shaanxi]: Geoscience, v. 1, no. 3–4, p. 301310 [in Chinese].
He, T., and Pei, F., 1985, [The discovery of bivalves from the lower Cambrian Xinji Formation in Fangcheng County, Henan Province]: Journal of Chengdu College of Geology, v. 1, p. 6168 [in Chinese].
He, T., Pei, F., and Fu, G., 1984, [Small shelly fossils from the lower Cambrian Xinji Formation in Fangcheng County, Henan Province]: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 23, no. 3, p. 350357 [in Chinese].
Hinz, I., 1987, The lower Cambrian microfauna of Comley and Rushton, Shropshire, England: Palaeontographica Abteilung A, p. 41100.
Hou, X., and Bergström, J., 1995, Cambrian lobopodians—Ancestors of extant onychophorans?: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, v. 114, p. 319.
Hou, X., and Chen, J., 1989, [Early Cambrian arthropod-annelid intermediate sea animal, Luolishania gen. nov. from Chengjiang, Yunnan]: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 28, no. 2, p. 207213 [in Chinese].
Hou, X., Ramsköld, L., and Bergström, J., 1991, Composition and preservation of the Chengjiang fauna—A Lower Cambrian soft-bodied biota: Zoologica Scripta, v. 20, p. 395411.
Hou, X., Aldridge, R.J., Bergström, J., Siveter, D.J., and Feng, X., 2004, The Cambrian Fossils of Chengjiang, China: The Flowering of Early Animal Life: Oxford, UK, Blackwell, p. 1233.
Hsiang, L., 1963, Trilobita, in Academy of Geological Sciences, Ministry of Geology, ed., Fossil Atlas of Qinling Mountains: Beijing, China Industry Press, 27 p [in Chinese].
Jell, P.A., 1980, Earliest known bivalve on Earth—A new early Cambrian genus from South Australia: Alcheringa, v. 4, p. 233239.
Kouchinsky, A., Bengtson, S., Clausen, S., Gubanov, A., Malinky, J.M., and Peel, J.S., 2011, A middle Cambrian fauna of skeletal fossils from the Kuonamka Formation, northern Siberia: Alcheringa, v. 35, p. 123189.
Kouchinsky, A., Bengtson, S., Clausen, S., and Vendrasco, M.J., 2015, A lower Cambrian fauna of skeletal fossils from the Emyaksin Formation, northern Siberia: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, v. 60, no. 2, p. 421512.
Landing, E., 1988, Lower Cambrian of eastern Massachusetts: Stratigraphy and small shelly fossils: Journal of Paleontology, v. 62, p. 661695.
Li, G., and Zhu, M., 2001, Discrete sclerites of Microdictyon (lower Cambrian) from the Fucheng section, Nanzheng, South Shaanxi: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 40, p. 227235.
Li, G., Zhang, Z., Hua, H., and Yang, H., 2014, Occurrence of the enigmatic bivalved fossil Apistoconcha in the lower Cambrian of southeast Shaanxi, North China platform: Journal of Paleontology, v. 88, no. 2, p. 18.
Li, L., Zhang, X., Yun, H., and Li, G., 2016, New occurrence of Cambroclavus absonus from the lowermost Cambrian of North China and its stratigraphical importance: Alcheringa, v. 40, no. 1, p. 4552.
Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J., and Zhang, Z., 2004, A rare lobopod with well-preserved eyes from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte and its implications for origin of arthropods: Chinese Science Bulletin, v. 49, p. 10631071.
Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J., Zhang, Z., and Zhang, X., 2006, A large xenusiid lobopod with complex appendages from Chengjiang Lagerstätte (lower Cambrian, China): Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, v. 51, p. 215222.
Liu, J., Shu, D., Han, J., Zhang, Z., and Zhang, X., 2008, The lobopod Onychodictyon from the lower Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte revisited: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, v. 53, no. 2, p. 285292.
Liu, J., Steiner, M., Dunlop, J.A., Keupp, H., Shu, D., Ou, Q., Han, J., Zhang, Z., and Zhang, X., 2011, An armoured Cambrian lobopodian from China with arthropod-like appendages: Nature, v. 470, p. 526530.
Liu, Q., Ma, L., Zhu, Y., Jin, R., Dai, W., Chen, Y., Fan, X., Zhang, T., and Zhang, Z., 1994, [Lithofacies Palaeogeography and Gypsum Deposits of the Lower Cambrian of North China platform]: Beijing, Geologic Publishing House, 144 [in Chinese].
Liu, Y., 1986, [The lower Cambrian Xinji Formation in Hennan Province]: Henan Geology, v. 4, no. 4, p. 2835 [in Chinese].
Liu, Y., Wang, J., Zhang, H., and Du, F., 1991, [The Cambrian and Ordovician Systems of Henan Province]: Beijing, Geological Publishing House, 225 p [in Chinese].
Lu, Y., Zhang, W., Zhu, Z., Qian, Y., and Xiang, L., 1965, The Trilobites of China: Beijing, Science Press, 85 p.
Ma, X., Hou, X., and Bergström, J., 2009, Morphology of Luolishania longicruris (lower Cambrian, Chengjiang Lagerstätte, SW China) and the phylogenetic relationships within lobopodians: Arthropod Structure and Development, v. 38, p. 271291.
Matthew, G.F., 1899, Studies on Cambrian faunas: Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, v. 5, p. 3966.
Matthews, S., and Missarzhevsky, V., 1975, Small shelly fossils of late Precambrian and early Cambrian age: A review of recent work: Journal of the Geological Society, v. 131, p. 289304.
McMenamin, M.A.S., 1984, Paleontology and stratigraphy of lower Cambrian and upper Proterozoic sediments, Caborca region, northwestern Sonora, Mexico [Ph.D. thesis]: Santa Barbara, University of California, 218 p [in Chinese].
McMenamin, M.A.S., and McMenamin, D.L.S., 1990, The Emergence of Animals—The Cambrian Breakthrough: New York, Columbia University Press, 217 p.
Miao, L., 2014, [Biostratigraphy of the basal Cambrian Xinji Formation and the Houjiashan Formation from the Southern North China Platform] [Master thesis]: Beijing, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 127 p [in Chinese].
Miao, L., and Zhu, M., 2014, [Trace fossils from the basal Cambrian Xinji Formation in Southern North China Platform and its chronological significance]: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 53, no. 3, p. 274289 [in Chinese].
Missarzhevsky, V.V., 1989, [Oldest skeletal fossils and stratigraphy of Precambrian and Cambrian boundary beds]: Trudy Akademia Nauk SSSR, v. 443, p. 1236 [in Russian].
Missarzhevsky, V.V., and Mambetov, A.M., 1981, [The stratigraphy and fauna of the Cambrian–Precambrian boundary beds of the Lesser Karatau Range]: Moscow, Trudy Geologischeskogo Instituta Akademia Nauk SSSR, v. 326, p. 192 [in Russian].
Pan, B., Miao, L., Yang, H., and Li, G., 2015, [Enigmatic tubular fossil Cupitheca from the lower Cambrian Xinji Formation of Luonan, Shaanxi Province]: Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, v. 32, p. 384395 [in Chinese].
Paterson, J.R., and Brock, G.A., 2007, Early Cambrian trilobites from Angorichina, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, with a new assemblage from the Pararaia bunyerooensis Zone: Journal of Paleontology, v. 81, p. 116142.
Pei, F., 1985, [First discovery of Yochelcionella from the lower Cambrian in China and its significance]: Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, v. 2, no. 4, p. 395400 [in Chinese].
Pei, F., and Feng, W., 2005, [Discovery of the molluscan fauna from the lower Cambrian Xinji Formation of Zhuyang, Linbao of Henan]: Journal of Stratigraphy, v. 29, p. 458461 [in Chinese].
Peng, S., Babcock, L.E., and Cooper, R.A., 2012, The Cambrian Period, in Gradstein, F.M., Ogg, J.G., Schmitz, M.D., and Ogg, G.M., eds., The Geologic Time Scale: Amsrerdam, Elsevier, p. 446.
Pompeckj, J.F., 1927, Ein neues Zeugnis uralten Lebens: Paläontologische Zeitschrift, v. 9, no. 1, p. 287313 [in German].
Ramsköld, L., and Chen, J., 1998, Cambrian lobopodians: Morphology and phylogeny, in Edgecombe, G.D., ed., Arthropod Fossils and Phylogeny: New York, Columbia University Press, p. 107150.
Ramsköld, L., and Hou, X., 1991, New early Cambrian animal and onychophoran affinities of enigmatic metazoans: Nature, v. 351, p. 225228.
Sarmiento, G.N., Fernández-Remolar, D., and Göncüoglu, M.C., 2001, Cambrian small shelly fossils from the Cal Tepe Formation, Taurus Mountains: Turkey, Coloquios de Paleontologia, v. 52, p. 117134.
Shu, D., and Chen, L., 1989, [Discovery of early Cambrian Radiolaria and its significance]: Science in China Series B-Chemistry, v. 32, no. 8, p. 986994 [in Chinese].
Skovsted, C.B., 2006, Small shelly fauna from the late early Cambrian Bastion and Ella Island Formations, North-East Greenland: Journal of Paleontology, v. 80, p. 10871112.
Skovsted, C.B., Pan, B., Topper, T.P., Betts, M.J., Li, G., and Brock, G.A., 2016, The operculum and mode of life of the lower Cambrian hyolith Cupitheca from South Australia and North China: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimat-ology, Palaeoecology, v. 443, p. 123130.
Smith, M.R., 2014, Ontogeny, morphology and taxonomy of the soft-bodied Cambrian ‘mollusc’: Wiwaxia: Palaeontology, v. 57, p. 215229.
Smith, M.R., and Ortega-Hernández, J., 2014, Hallucigenia’s onychophoran-like claws and the case for Tactopoda: Nature, v. 514, p. 363366.
Snodgrass, R.E., 1938, Evolution of the Annelida, Onychophora, and Arthropoda: Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, v. 97, no. 6, p. 1159.
Steiner, M., Hu, S., Liu, J., and Keupp, H., 2012, A new species of Hallucigenia from the Cambrian Stage 4 Wulongqing formation of Yunnan (South China) and the structure of sclerites in lobopodians: Bulletin of Geosciences, v. 87, no. 1, 107124.
Tong, H., 1989, [A preliminary study on the Microdictyon from the lower Cambrian of Zhenba, South Shaanxi]: Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, v. 6, p. 97101 [in Chinese].
Topper, T.P., Brock, G.A., Skovsted, C.B., and Paterson, J.R., 2009, Shelly fossils from the lower Cambrian Pararaia bunyerooensis Zone, Flinders Ranges, South Australia: Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists, v. 37, p. 199246.
Topper, T.P., Brock, G.A., Skovsted, C.B., and Paterson, J.R., 2011, Microdictyon plates from the lower Cambrian Ajax Limestone of South Australia: Implications for species taxonomy and diversity: Alcheringa, v. 35, no. 3, p. 427443.
Topper, T.P., Skovsted, C.B., Peel, J.S., and Harper, D.A.T., 2013, Moulting in the lobopodian Onychodictyon from the lower Cambrian of Greenland: Lethaia, v. 46, no. 4, p. 490495.
Varlamov, A.I., Rozanov, A.Y., Khomentovsky, V.V., Shabanov, Y.Y., Abaimova, G.P., et al., 2008, The Cambrian System of the Siberian Platform, Part 1, The Lena-Aldan Region: Moscow, PIN RAS, 232 p.
Vinther, J., and Nielsen, C., 2005, The early Cambrian Halkieria is a mollusc: Zoologica Scripta, v. 34, p. 8189.
Walcott, C.D., 1911, Middle Cambrian annelids: Cambrian geology and paleontology, II: Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, v. 57, no. 5, p. 109142.
Whittington, H.B., 1978, The lobopod animal Aysheaia pedunculata Walcott, middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, v. 284, p. 165197.
Xiao, L., and Zhou, B., 1984, [Early Cambrian hyolitha from Huainan and Huoqiu county in Anhui province]: Professional Papers of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, v. 13, p. 141151 [in Chinese].
Yan, G., Zhang, E., and Wang, D., 1993, [Evolution of North China-type Cambrian sedimentary environments and trace fossils assemblage in Henan Province]: Sedimentary Facies and Palaeogeograhy, v. 13, no. 3, p. 1832 [in Chinese].
Yang, B., Steiner, M., and Keupp, H., 2015, Early Cambrian palaeobiogeography of the Zhenba–Fangxian Block (South China): Independent terrane or part of the Yangtze Platform?: Gondwana Research, v. 28, no. 4, p. 15431565.
Yu, W., Xu, J., and Yi, K., 1984, [Discovery of molluscan fauna from lower Cambrian Xinji Formation of Luonan, Shannxi]: Journal of Stratigraphy, v. 8, no. 3, p. 234 [in Chinese].
Yuan, J., Zhu, X., Lin, J., and Zhu, M., 2011, Tentative correlation of Cambrian Series 2 between South China and other continents: Bulletin of Geosciences, v. 86, p. 397404.
Zhang, W., and Zhu, Z., 1979, [Notes on some trilobites from lower Cambrian Houjiashan Formation in southern and southwestern parts of North China]: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 18, no. 6, p. 513529 [in Chinese].
Zhang, W., Zhu, Z., Yuan, K., Lin, H., Qian, Y., Wu, H., and Yuan, J., 1979, [The boundary of the Cambrian-upper Precambrian in the southern and southwestern parts of North China]: Acta Stratigraphica Sinica, v. 3, no. 1, p. 5156 [in Chinese].
Zhang, X., and Aldridge, R.J., 2007, Development and diversification of trunk plates of the lower Cambrian lobopodians: Palaeontology, v. 50, p. 401415.
Zhao, Y., Yuan, J., Zhu, M., Yang, R., Guo, Q., Qian, Y., Huang, Y., and Pan, Y., 1999, [A progress report on research on the early middle Cambrian Kaili Biota, Guizhou, PRC]: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, v. 38, supplement, p. 114 [in Chinese].
Zhao, Y., Yuan, J., Zhu, M., Yang, R., Guo, Q., Peng, J., and Yang, X., 2002, Progress and significance in research on the early middle Cambrian Kaili Biota, Guizhou Province, China: Progress in Natural Science, v. 12, no. 9, p. 649654.
Zhao, Y., Zhu, M., Babcock, L.E., Yuan, J., Parsley, R. L., Peng, J., and Wang, Y., 2005, Kaili Biota: A taphonomic window on diversification of metazoans from the basal middle Cambrian: Guizhou, China: Acta Geologica Sinica (English edition), v. 79, no. 6, p. 751765.
Zhou, B., and Xiao, L., 1984, [Early Cambrian monoplacophorans and gastropods from Huainan and Huoqiu counties (Anhui Provence)]: Professional Papers of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology, v. 13, p. 125140 [in Chinese].
Recommend this journal

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

Journal of Paleontology
  • ISSN: 0022-3360
  • EISSN: 1937-2337
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-paleontology
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