Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Trilobite malformations and the fossil record of behavioral asymmetry

  • Loren E. Babcock (a1)
Abstract

Malformations of trilobites are classified as healed injuries, teratological conditions, and pathological conditions. An improved method of recognizing such malformations combines information about the conditions under which cell injury can occur, the processes by which animal tissues react to injury, and trilobite morphology.

Study of healed injuries of polymeroid trilobites shows that injuries attributed to sublethal predation tend to be most commonly preserved on the pleural lobes, the posterior half of the body, and the right side. Statistically significant differences in the number of predation scars between the right and left sides is interpreted as evidence of right-left behavioral asymmetry in some predators of trilobites or the trilobites themselves. Asymmetrical, or lateralized, behavior in present-day animals is one manifestation of handedness, and is usually related to a functional lateralization of the nervous system. Evidence of behavioral lateralization in some Paleozoic predators or prey suggests that those organisms also possessed lateralized nervous systems. Right-left differences in preserved predation scars on trilobites date from the Early Cambrian (Olenellus Zone), and are the oldest known evidence of behavioral asymmetry in the fossil record.

Other examples of structural or behavioral asymmetry from the fossil record of animals are cited. Lateralization is recognized in representatives of the Arthropoda, Annelida, Bryozoa, Echinodermata, Cnidaria, Mollusca, Chordata, and Conodonta, and in trace fossils.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Alpert, S. P., and Moore, J. N. 1975. Lower Cambrian trace fossil evidence for predation on trilobites. Lethaia, 8:223230.
Annett, M. 1972. The distribution of manual asymmetry. British Journal of Psychology, 63:343358.
Annett, M. 1978. A Single Gene Explanation of Right and Left Handedness and Brainedness. Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, England, 20 p.
Annett, M. 1987. Handedness as chance or as species characteristic. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10:263264.
Ausich, W. I. 1993. Echinodermata. In Feldmann, R. M. (ed.), Fossils of Ohio. Ohio Division of Geological Survey, Bulletin 70.
Babcock, L. E. 1990a. Biogeography, phylogenetics, and systematics of some Middle Cambrian polymeroid trilobites from open-shelf to basinal lithofacies of North Greenland and Nevada. Unpubl. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 222 p.
Babcock, L. E. 1990b. Phylogenetic relationships among Cambrian trilobites. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, 22(7):A265.
Babcock, L. E. 1993. Cnidaria. In Feldmann, R. M. (ed.), Fossils of Ohio. Ohio Division of Geological Survey, Bulletin 70.
Babcock, L. E., and Robison, R. A. 1989a. Preferences of Palaeozoic predators. Nature, 337:695696.
Babcock, L. E., and Robison, R. A. 1989b. Asymmetry of predation on trilobites. 28th International Geological Congress, Abstracts, 1:66.
Bassler, R. S. 1953. Bryozoa. In Moore, R. C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part G. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 253 p.
Bell, B. M. 1976. A study of North American Edrioasteroidea. New York State Museum and Science Service, Memoir 21, 447 p.
de Castro, Bermúdez J., Bromage, T. G., and Férnandez Jalvo, Y. 1988. Buccal striations on fossil human anterior teeth: evidence of handedness in the middle and early Upper Pleistocene. Journal of Human Evolution, 17:403412.
Boucot, A. J. 1990. Evolutionary Paleobiology of Behavior and Co-evolution. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, 725 p.
Bradshaw, J. L. 1988. The evolution of human lateral asymmetries: new evidence and second thoughts. Journal of Human Evolution, 17:615637.
Bradshaw, J. L. 1989. Hemispheric Specialization and Psychological Function. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England, 218 p.
Bradshaw, J. L. 1991. Animal asymmetry and human heredity: dextrality, tool use and language in evolution—10 years after Walker (1980). British Journal of Psychology, 82:3959.
Briggs, D. E. G., and Collins, D. 1988. A Middle Cambrian chelicerate from Mount Stephen, British Columbia. Palaeontology, 31:779798.
Briggs, D. E. G., and Mount, J. D. 1982. The occurrence of the giant arthropod Anomalocaris in the Lower Cambrian of southern California, and the overall distribution of the genus. Journal of Paleontology, 56:11121118.
Briggs, D. E. G., and Robison, R. A. 1984. Exceptionally preserved nontrilobite arthropods and Anomalocaris from the Middle Cambrian of Utah. University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, Paper 111, 23 p.
Briggs, D. E. G., and Whittington, H. B. 1985a. Modes of life of arthropods from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 76:149160.
Briggs, D. E. G., and Whittington, H. B. 1985b. Terror of the trilobites. Natural History, 94(12):3439.
Broca, P. 1861. Nouvelle observation d'aphemie produite par une lesion de la moite posterieure des deuxieme et troisieme circonvolutions frontales. Bulletin de la Societé Anatomique de Paris, 36:398407.
Bruton, D. L. 1981. The arthropod Sidneyia inexpectans, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 300:619656.
Bryden, M. P. 1982. Laterality: Functional Asymmetry in the Intact Brain. Academic Press, New York, 319 p.
Campbell, L. D. 1969. Stratigraphy and paleontology of the Kinzers Formation, southeastern Pennsylvania. Unpubl. , Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 51 p.
Chapple, W. D. 1977. Role of asymmetry in the functioning of invertebrate nervous systems, p. 322. In Harnad, S., Doty, R. W., Goldstein, L., Jaynes, J., and Krauthamer, G. (eds.), Lateralization in the Nervous System. Acadenic Press, New York.
Cisne, J. L. 1975. Anatomy of Triarthrus and the relationships of the Trilobita. Fossils and Strata, 4:4563.
Coakley, M. E., and Brown, N. A. 1986. Tissue oxygen as a determinant of axially asymmetric teratologic responses: misonidazole as a marker for hypoxic cells. Human Toxicology, 5:404.
Conway Morris, S. 1981. Parasites and the fossil record. Parasitology, 82:489509.
Conway Morris, S., and Jenkins, R. J. F. 1985. Healed injuries in Early Cambrian trilobites from South Australia. Alcheringa, 9:167177.
Conway Morris, S., and Robison, R. A. 1982. The enigmatic medusoid Peytoia and a comparison of some Cambrian biotas. Journal of Paleontology, 56:116122.
Conway Morris, S., and Robison, R. A. 1988. More soft-bodied animals and algae from the Middle Cambrian of Utah and British Columbia. University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, Paper 122, 48 p.
Corballis, M. C., and Morgan, M. J. 1978. On the biological basis of human laterality: I. Evidence for a maturational left-right gradient. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2:261336.
Coren, S., and Porac, C. 1977. Fifty centuries of right-handedness: the historical record. Science, 198:631632.
Coren, S., and Porac, C. 1980. Birth factors and laterality: effects of birth order, parental age, and birth stress on four indices of lateral preference. Behavior Genetics, 10:123138.
Dart, R. A. 1949. The predatory implemental technique of Australopithecus . American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 7:138.
Dax, M. 1865. Lésions de la moitié gauche de l'encéphale coincident avec l'oubli des signes de la pensée. Gazette Bebdom, 11:259260.
Denenberg, V. H. 1981. Hemispheric laterality in animals and the effects of early experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 4:149.
Denenberg, V. H. 1983. Brain laterality and behavioral asymmetry in the rat, p. 2938. In Flor-Henry, P. and Gruzelier, J. (eds.), Laterality and Psychopathology. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam.
Dimond, S. J. 1977. Evolution and lateralization of the brain: concluding remarks. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 299:477501.
Durham, J. W., and Caster, K. E. 1963. Helioplacoidea: a new class of echinoderms. Science, 140:820822.
Durham, J. W., and Caster, K. E. 1966. Helioplacoids, p. U131U136. In Moore, R. C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part U, Echinodermata 3. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Eaton, R. C., Bombardieri, R. A., and Meyer, D. L. 1977. The Mauthner-initiated startle response in teleost fish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 66:6581.
Favre, D., Thwaite, J. J., and Mendelson, N. H. 1985. Kinetic studies of temperature-induced helix hand inversion in Bacillus subtilis macrofibers. Journal of Bacteriology, 164:11361140.
Galaburda, A. M., Lemay, M., Kemper, T. L., and Geschwind, N. 1978. Right-left asymmetries in the brain. Science, 199:852856.
Galloway, J. 1987. A cause for reflection? Nature, 330:204205.
Galloway, J. 1989. Ciliate through the looking glass. Nature, 340:1617.
Gazzaniga, M. S. 1989. Organization of the human brain. Science, 245:947952.
Geschwind, N. 1979. Specializations of the human brain. Scientific American, 241(3):180199.
Geschwind, N., and Galaburda, A. M. 1985. Cerebral lateralization: biological mechanisms, associations and pathology. Archives of Neurology, 42:428459.
Glaessner, M. F. 1969. Decapoda, p. R399R533. In Moore, R. C. and Teichert, C. (eds.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part R, Arthropoda 4. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Glezer, I. I. 1987. The riddle of Carlyle: the unsolved problem of the origin of handedness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10:273275.
Gould, S. J., Young, N. D., and Kasson, B. 1985. The consequences of being different: sinistral coiling in Cerion . Evolution, 39:13641379.
Govind, C. K. 1989. Asymmetry in lobster claws. American Scientist, 77:468474.
Grimes, G. W. 1982. Pattern differentiation in hypotrich ciliates. American Zoologist, 22:3546.
Häntzschel, W. 1975. In Teichert, C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part W, Miscellanea, Supplement 1, Trace Fossils and Problematica, 2nd ed. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 269 p.
Harlow, H. F., and Harlow, M. K. 1962. Social deprivation in monkeys. Scientific American, 207(5):136146.
Hegstrom, R. A., and Kondepudi, D. K. 1990. The handedness of the universe. Scientific American, 262(1):108115.
Hepper, P. G., Shahidullah, S., and White, R. 1990. Origins of fetal handedness. Nature, 347:431.
Holloway, R. L. 1981a. Volumetric and asymmetry determinations on recent hominid endocasts: Spy I and II, Djebel Ihroud I, and the Sale Homo erectus specimens, with some notes on neanderthal brain size. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 55:385393.
Holloway, R. L. 1981b. The Indonesian Homo erectus brain endocasts revisited. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 55:503521.
Holloway, R. L., and de la Coste-Lareymondie, M. C. 1982. Brain endocast asymmetry in pongids and hominids: some preliminary findings on the paleontology of cerebral dominance. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 58:101110.
Jago, J. B. 1974. Evidence for scavengers from Middle Cambrian sediments in Tasmania. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Monatschefte, 1974:1317.
Jefferies, R. P. S. 1967. Some fossil chordates with echinoderm affinities. Symposium of the Zoological Society of London, 20:163–108.
Jefferies, R. P. S. 1986. The Ancestry of the Vertebrates. British Museum (Natural History), London, 376 p.
Jefferies, R. P. S., and Lewis, D. N. 1978. The English Silurian fossil Placocystites forbesianus and the ancestry of the vertebrates. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 292:205323.
Jell, P. A. 1990. Some aberrant exoskeletons from fossil and living arthropods. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 27:491498.
Johanson, D. C., and Edey, M. A. 1981. Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind. Simon and Schuster, New York, 409 p.
Johnson, M. S. 1982. Polymorphism for direction of coil in Partula suturalis: behavioural isolation and positive frequency dependent selection. Heredity, 49:145151.
Johnson, M. S. 1987. Adaptation and rules of form: chirality and shape in Partula suturalis . Evolution, 41:672675.
Keeley, L. H. 1977. The functions of Paleolithic flint tools. Scientific American, 237(5):108126.
Kimura, D. 1979. Neuromotor mechanisms in the evolution of human communication, p. 197219. In Steklis, H. D. and Raleigh, M. J. (eds.), Neurobiology of Social Communication in Primates: An Evolutionary Perspective. Academic Press, New York.
Kurtén, B., and Anderson, E. 1980. Pleistocene Mammals of North America. Columbia University Press, New York, 443 p.
Kuzmin, A. V. 1990. Asymmetrical pairs of platform elements of Polygnathus (conodonts). Paleontological Journal, 24:6270.
Lane, N. G. 1978. Family Platycrinitidae, p. T515T516. In Moore, R. C. and Teichert, C. (eds.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part T, Echinodermata 2. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Lenneberg, E. H. 1967. Biological Foundations of Language. Wiley, New York, 489 p.
Levy, J. 1972. Lateral specialization of the human brain: behavioral manifestations and possible evolutionary basis, p. 159180. In Kiger, J. A. (ed.), The Biology of Behavior. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.
Levy, J., and Nagylaki, T. 1972. A model for the genetics of handedness. Genetics, 72:117128.
Lorenz, K. 1970. Studies in Animal and Human Behaviour (translated by Martin, R.). Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Vol. I, 403 p., Vol. II, 366 p.
Ludvigsen, R. 1977. Rapid repair of traumatic injury by an Ordovician trilobite. Lethaia, 10:205207.
Ludvigsen, R. 1979. Fossils of Ontario. Part 1: The Trilobites. Royal Ontario Museum, Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications, 96 p.
MacNeilage, P. F., Studdert-Kennedy, M. G., and Lindblom, B. 1987. Primate handedness reconsidered. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10:247303.
MacNeilage, P. F., Studdert-Kennedy, M. G., and Lindblom, B. 1991. Primate handedness: the other theory, the other hand and the other attitude. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14:344349.
Maitland, D. P. 1989. Trilobite attacks. Nature, 339:105106.
Martin, L. D., and Bennett, D. K. 1977. The burrows of the Miocene beaver Palaeocastor, western Nebraska, U.S.A. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 22:173193.
Meischner, D. 1968. Perniciöse Epökie von Placunopsis auf Ceratites . Lethaia, 1:156174.
Michel, G. F. 1981. Right-handedness: a consequence of infant supine head-orientation preference? Science, 212:685687.
Moore, R. C., Lane, N. G., Strimple, H. L., and Sprinkle, J. 1978. Order Disparida, p. T520T564. In Moore, R. C. and Teichert, C. (eds.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part T, Echinodermata 2. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Morgan, M. 1977. Embryology and inheritance of asymmetry, p. 173194. In Harnad, S., Doty, R. W., Goldstein, L., Jaynes, J., and Krauthamer, G. (eds.), Lateralization in the Nervous System. Academic Press, New York.
Moy-Thomas, J. A., and Miles, R. S. 1971. Paleozoic Fishes. W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, 259 p.
Müller, K. J., and Walossek, D. 1987. Morphology, ontogeny, and life habit of Agnostus pisiformis from the Upper Cambrian of Sweden. Fossils and Strata, 19, 124 p.
Needham, A. E. 1952. Regeneration and Wound-Healing. Methuen, London, 152 p.
Nelson, E. M., and Frankel, J. 1989. Maintenance and regulation of cellular handedness in Tetrahymena . Development, 105:457471.
Nelson, E. M., Frankel, J., and Jenkins, L. M. 1989. Non-genic inheritance of cellular handedness. Development, 105:447456.
Neville, A. C. 1976. Animal Asymmetry. The Institute of Biology's Studies in Biology No. 67. Edward Arnold, London, 60 p.
Norberg, R. Å. 1977. Occurrence and independent evolution of bilateral ear asymmetry in owls and implications on owl taxonomy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 280:375408.
Nottebohm, F. 1979. Origins and mechanisms in the establishment of cerebral dominance, p. 295344. In Gazzaniga, M. S. (ed.), Handbook of Behavioral Neurobiology, Vol. 2, Neuropsychology. Plenum Press, New York.
Owen, A. W. 1983. Abnormal cephalic fringes in the Trinucleidae and Harpetidae (Trilobita). Special Papers in Paleontology, 30:241247.
Owen, A. W. 1985. Trilobite abnormalities. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 76:255272.
Pek, I. 1977. Agnostid trilobites of the central Bohemian Ordovician. Sborník geologických věd, 19:744.
Purtilo, D. T. 1978. A Survey of Human Diseases. Addison-Wesley, Menlo Park, California, 453 p.
Regnéll, G. 1966. Edrioasteroids, p. U136U173. In Moore, R. C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part U, Echinodermata 3. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Reist, J. D., Bodaly, R. A., Fudge, R. J. P., Cash, K. J., and Stevens, T. V. 1987. External scarring of whitefish, Coregonus nasus and C. clupeaformis complex, from the western Northwest Territories, Canada. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 65:12301239.
Resser, C. E., and Howell, B. F. 1938. Lower Cambrian Olenellus Zone of the Appalachians. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 49:195248.
Riddle, S. W. 1989. Functional morphology and paleoecological implications of the platycrinitid column (Echinodermata, Crinoidea). Journal of Paleontology, 63:889897.
Robison, R. A. 1976. Middle Cambrian trilobite biostratigraphy of the Great Basin. Brigham Young University Geology Studies, 23(2):93109.
Robison, R. A. 1984. New occurrences of the unusual trilobite Naraoia from the Cambrian of Idaho and Utah. University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, Paper 111, 8 p.
Robison, R. A. 1987a. Annelida, p. 194204. In Boardman, R. S., Cheetham, A. H., and Rowell, A. J. (eds.), Fossil Invertebrates. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Palo Alto, California.
Robison, R. A. 1987b. Superclass Trilobitomorpha, p. 221241. In Boardman, R. S., Cheetham, A. H., and Rowell, A. J. (eds.), Fossil Invertebrates. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Palo Alto, California.
Robison, R. A. 1991. Middle Cambrian biotic diversity: examples from four Utah Lagerstätten, p. 7793. In Simonetta, A. M. and Conway Morris, S. (eds.), The Early Evolution of Metazoa and the Significance of Problematic Fossils. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Rudkin, D. M. 1979. Healed injuries in Ogygopsis klotzi (Trilobita) from the Middle Cambrian of British Columbia. Royal Ontario Museum, Life Sciences Occasional Paper 32, 8 p.
Searleman, A. C., Porac, C., and Coren, S. 1989. The relationship between birth order, birth stress, handedness and lateral preference: a critical review. Psychological Bulletin, 103:397408.
Signor, P. W. III, and Brett, C. E. 1984. The mid-Paleozoic precursor to the Mesozoic marine revolution. Paleobiology, 10:229245.
Šnajdr, M. 1979. Two trinucleid trilobites with repair of traumatic injury. Věstník Ústředního ústavu geologického, 54:4951.
Sokal, R. R., and Rohlf, F. J. 1981. Biometry, 2nd ed. W. H. Freeman, New York, 859 p.
Sprinkle, J. 1973. Morphology and evolution of blastozoan echinoderms. Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Special Publications, 283 p.
Sprinkle, J. 1987. Phylum Echinodermata, Part I, phylum overview, p. 550572. In Boardman, R. S., Cheetham, A. H., and Rowell, A. J. (eds.), Fossil Invertebrates. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Palo Alto, California.
Stigler, S. 1989. Trilobite attacks. Nature, 339:106.
Stürmer, W., and Bergström, J. 1973. New discoveries on trilobites by x-rays. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 47:104141.
Sturtevant, A. H. 1923. Inheritance of direction of coiling in Limnaea . Science, 58:269270.
Sweet, W. C. 1988. The Conodonta: Morphology, Taxonomy, Paleoecology and Evolutionary History of a Long-extinct Animal Phylum. Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics 10, 212 p.
Toth, N. 1985. Archaeological evidence for preferential right-handedness in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene, and its possible implications. Journal of Human Evolution, 14:607614.
Ubaghs, G. 1968 [dated 1967]. Stylophora, p. S495S565. In Moore, R. C. (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part S, Echinodermata 1. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence.
Vermeij, G. J. 1975. Evolution and distribution of left-handed and planispiral coiling in snails. Nature, 254:419420.
Vorwald, G. R. 1982. Healed injuries in trilobites—evidence for a large Cambrian predator. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, 14:639.
Walker, S. F. 1980. Lateralization of functions in the vertebrate brain: a review. British Journal of Psychology, 71:329367.
Warren, J. M. 1980. Handedness and laterality in humans and other animals. Physiological Psychology, 8:351359.
Webb, P. W. 1975. Acceleration performance of rainbow trout Salmo gairneri and green sunfish Lepomis cyanellus . Journal of Experimental Biology, 63:451465.
Whittington, H. B. 1977. The Middle Cambrian trilobite Naraoia, Burgess Shale, British Columbia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 280:409443.
Whittington, H. B., and Briggs, D. E. G. 1985. The largest Cambrian animal, Anomalocaris, Burgess Shale, British Columbia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 309:569609.
Witelson, S. F., and Pallie, W. 1973. Left hemisphere specialization for language in the newborn: neuroanatomical evidence of asymmetry. Brain, 96:641646.
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? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 5 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 325 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.