Early Cambrian Ostracode Larvae with a Univalved Carapace

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Science  01 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5130, pp. 93-94
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5130.93


Phosphatized univalves, recovered from the Lower Cambrian (∼530 million years old) Qiongzhusi Formation in southern China, are recognized as early instars belonging to bradoriid ostracodes whose later instars are bivalved. The univalved form is the primitive larval character for shell-secreting crustaceans, although most post-Cambrian ostracodes bypassed this developmental phase. The univalved-bivalved transition during early on-togeny represents an important evolutionary event in ostracodes, with implications for crustacean classification, and implies that the ostracode ancestor achieved this bivalved capacity before the appearance of mineralized skeletons during the "Cambrian explosion."