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A Great-Appendage Arthropod with a Radial Mouth from the Lower Devonian Hunsrück Slate, Germany

Science  06 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5915, pp. 771-773
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166586

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Abstract

Great-appendage arthropods, characterized by a highly modified anterior limb, were previously unknown after the Middle Cambrian. One fossil from the Lower Devonian Hunsrück Slate, Germany, extends the stratigraphic range of these arthropods by ∼100 million years. Schinderhannes bartelsi shows an unusual combination of anomalocaridid and euarthropod characters, including a highly specialized swimming appendage. A cladistic analysis indicates that the new taxon is basal to crown-group euarthropods and that the great-appendage arthropods are paraphyletic. This new fossil shows that features of the anomalocaridids, including the multisegmented raptorial appendage and circular plated mouth, persisted long after the initial radiation of the euarthropods.

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