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Palaeoscolecid scleritome fragments with Hadimopanella plates from the early Cambrian of South Australia



Phosphatized articulated palaeoscolecid scleritome fragments with attached Hadimopanella Gedik, 1977 plates are described from the lower Cambrian Mernmerna Formation of South Australia. Hadimopanella is principally known from single, isolated, button-shaped, phosphatic sclerites. The new articulated material from South Australia reveals for the first time the configuration of plates referable to Hadimopanella within the scleritome. The scleritome fragments represent the main trunk sections of the cuticle with anterior and posterior terminations lacking. Each annulus on the trunk is ornamented by rows of irregularly alternating Hadimopanella plates. The large majority of plates display a single, centrally located, conical node referable to the form species H. apicata Wrona, 1982. However, individual plates display considerable morphological variation with plates situated along the flattened trunk margin identical to the form species H. antarctica Wrona, 1987. The South Australian material displays the detailed scleritome configuration of cuticular plates and platelets and demonstrates irrefutably that plates of the form species H. apicata and H. antarctica occur as mineralized cuticular elements on the same palaeoscolecid scleritome.


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