Skip to main content Accessibility help

A new Early Cambrian onychophoran-like animal, Paucipodia gen. nov., from the Chengjiang fauna, China

  • Chen Jun-yuan (a1), Zhou Gui-qing (a1) and Lars Ramsköld (a2)


An onychophoran-like fossil animal, Paucipodia inermis gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang lagerstatte in Yunnan, China. The animal was soft-bodied, and possessed six pairs of unjointed legs, each having two claws distally. The body was finely annulated, lacked trunk plates, and apparently terminated posteriorly with the last leg pair, without preserved evidence of a posterior trunk extension. Paucipodia widens the morphological range hitherto known in Cambrian lobopodians, notably regarding leg number and presence or absence of plates. Its morphology also provides support for the recently suggested anteroposterior orientation of Hallucigenia and Microdictyon.


Corresponding author

*To whom correspondence should be addressed


Hide All
Bengtson, S. 1991. Oddballs from the Cambrian start to get even. NATURE 351, 184–5.
Bowring, S. A., Grotzinger, J. P., Isachsen, C. E., Knoll, A. H., Pelechaty, S. M. & Kolosov, P. 1993. Calibrating rates of early Cambrian evolution. SCIENCE 261, 1293–8.
Budd, G. 1993. A Cambrian gilled lobopod from Greenland. NATURE 364, 709–11.
Jun-yuan, Chen & Erdtmann, B.-D. 1991. Lower Cambrian fossil et al. Lagerstätte from Chengjiang, Yunnan, China: Insights for reconstructing early metazoan life. In Simonetta, A. M. & Conway Morris, S. (eds), The early evolution of Metazoa and the significance of problematic taxa, 5776. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jun-yuan, Chen, Xian-guang, Hou & Hao-zhi, Lu 1989. Early Cambrian netted scale-bearing worm-like sea animal. ACTA PALAEONTOL SINICA 28, 116. [In Chinese with English summary.]
Jun-yuan, Chen, Bergström, J., Lindström, M. & Xian-guang, Hou 1991. The Chengjiang fauna—oldest soft-bodied fauna on Earth. NATL GEOGR RES & EXPLOR 7(1), 819.
Jun-yuan, Chen, Ramsköld, L. & Guiqing, Zhou 1994. Evidence for monophyly and arthropod affinity of Cambrian giant predators. SCIENCE 264, 1304–08.
Jun-yuan, Chen, Edgecombe, G. D., Ramsköld, L. & Gui-qing, Zhou in press 1. Head segmentation in Early Cambrian Fuxianhuia: implications for anthropod evolution. SCIENCE (spring, 1995).
Jun-yuan, Chen, Gui-qing, Zhou & Ramsköld, L. in press 2. The exceptional Cambrian lobopodian Microdictyon sinicum and its broader significance. BULL NATL MUS NAT SCJ (Taichung, Taiwan).
Jun-yuan, Chen, Ramsköld, L., Gui-qing, Zhou & Mao-yan, Zhu in prep. Lower Cambrian Hallucigenia from the Chengjiang fauna, China.
Collins, D. 1986. Paradise revisited. ROTUNDA (Royal Ontario Museum) 19(1), 30–9.
Conway Morris, S. 1977. A new metazoan from the Burgess Shale of British Columbia. PALAEONTOL 20, 623–40.
Dzik, J. & Krumbiegel, G. 1989. The oldest 'onychophoran' Xenusion: a link connecting phyla. LETHAIA 22, 169–81.
Yichun, Hao & Degan, Shu 1987. The oldest known well-preserved Phaeodaria (Radiolaria) from southern Shaanxi. GEOSCIENCE 1, 301–10.
Xian-guang, Hou 1987. Two new arthropods from Lower Cambrian, Chengjiang, eastern Yunnan. ACTA PALAEONTOL SINICA 26, 236–56. [In Chinese with English summary.]
Xian-guang, Hou & Jun-yuan, Chen 1989. Early Cambrian arthropod- annelid intermediate animal, Luolishania gen. nov.. from Chengjiang, Yunnan. ACTA PALAEONTOL SINICA 28, 208–13. [In Chinese with English summary.]
Xian-guang, Hou, Ramsköld, L. & Bergstrom, J. 1991. Composition and preservation of the Chengjiang fauna—a Lower Cambrian soft-bodied biota. ZOOL SCRIPTA 20, 395411.
Mansuy, H. 1912. Etude geologique du Yunnan Oriental. MEM SERV GEOL INDO-CHINE 1 (2), 1146.
Pompeckj, J. F. 1927. Ein neues Zeugnis uralten Lebens. PALAONTOL Z 9, 287313.
L., Ramsköld. 1992a. The second leg row of Hallucigenia discovered. LETHAIA 25, 221–4.
Ramsköld, L. 1992b. Homologies in Cambrian Onychophora. LETHAIA 25, 443–60.
Ramsköld, L. & Xianguang, Hou 1991. New Early Cambrian animal and onychophoran affinities of enigmatic metazoans. NATURE 351, 225–8.
Robison, R. A. 1985. Affinities of Aysheaia (Onychophora), with description of a new Cambrian species. J PALEONTOL 59, 226–35.
Walcott, C. D. 1911. Cambrian Geology and Paleontology, II. 5. Middle Cambrian Annelids. SMITHSONIAN MISC COLLECT 57, 109–44, pis 18–23.
Whittington, H. B. 1978. The lobopod animal Aysheaia pedunculata Walcott, Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia. PHIL TRANS R SOC LONDON B284, 165–97.
Wen-tang, Zhang & Xian-guang, Hou 1985. Preliminary notes on the occurrence of the unusual trilobite Naraoia in Asia. ACTA PALAEONTOL SINICA 24, 591–5. [In Chinese with English abstract.]


A new Early Cambrian onychophoran-like animal, Paucipodia gen. nov., from the Chengjiang fauna, China

  • Chen Jun-yuan (a1), Zhou Gui-qing (a1) and Lars Ramsköld (a2)


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.