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Ontogeny of the trilobite Redlichia from the lower Cambrian (Series 2, Stage 4) Ramsay Limestone of South Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2020

James D. Holmes*
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
John R. Paterson
Affiliation:
Palaeoscience Research Centre, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia
James B. Jago
Affiliation:
University of South Australia, STEM, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095, Australia South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
Diego C. García-Bellido
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
*
Author for correspondence: James D. Holmes, Email: james.holmes@adelaide.edu.au

Abstract

Studies that reveal detailed information about trilobite growth, particularly early developmental stages, are crucial for improving our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships within this iconic group of fossil arthropods. Here we document an essentially complete ontogeny of the trilobite Redlichia cf. versabunda from the Cambrian Series 2 (late Stage 4) Ramsay Limestone of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, including some of the best-preserved protaspides (the earliest biomineralized trilobite larval stage) known for any Cambrian trilobite. These protaspid stages exhibit similar morphological characteristics to many other taxa within the Suborder Redlichiina, especially to closely related species such as Metaredlichia cylindrica from the early Cambrian period of China. Morphological patterns observed across early developmental stages of different groups within the Order Redlichiida are discussed. Although redlichiine protaspides exhibit similar overall morphologies, certain ontogenetic characters within this suborder have potential phylogenetic signal, with different superfamilies characterized by unique trait combinations in these early growth stages.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Ontogeny of the trilobite Redlichia from the lower Cambrian (Series 2, Stage 4) Ramsay Limestone of South Australia
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