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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-03-17
    Description: Problematic fossils, extinct taxa of enigmatic morphology that cannot be assigned to a known major group, were once a major issue in palaeontology. A long-favoured solution to the 'problem of the problematica', particularly the 'weird wonders' of the Cambrian Burgess Shale, was to consider them representatives of extinct phyla. A combination of new evidence and modern approaches to phylogenetic analysis has now resolved the affinities of most of these forms. Perhaps the most notable exception is Tullimonstrum gregarium, popularly known as the Tully monster, a large soft-bodied organism from the late Carboniferous Mazon Creek biota (approximately 309-307 million years ago) of Illinois, USA, which was designated the official state fossil of Illinois in 1989. Its phylogenetic position has remained uncertain and it has been compared with nemerteans, polychaetes, gastropods, conodonts, and the stem arthropod Opabinia. Here we review the morphology of Tullimonstrum based on an analysis of more than 1,200 specimens. We find that the anterior proboscis ends in a buccal apparatus containing teeth, the eyes project laterally on a long rigid bar, and the elongate segmented body bears a caudal fin with dorsal and ventral lobes. We describe new evidence for a notochord, cartilaginous arcualia, gill pouches, articulations within the proboscis, and multiple tooth rows adjacent to the mouth. This combination of characters, supported by phylogenetic analysis, identifies Tullimonstrum as a vertebrate, and places it on the stem lineage to lampreys (Petromyzontida). In addition to increasing the known morphological disparity of extinct lampreys, a chordate affinity for T. gregarium resolves the nature of a soft-bodied fossil which has been debated for more than 50 years.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Notes: 〈/span〉McCoy, Victoria E -- Saupe, Erin E -- Lamsdell, James C -- Tarhan, Lidya G -- McMahon, Sean -- Lidgard, Scott -- Mayer, Paul -- Whalen, Christopher D -- Soriano, Carmen -- Finney, Lydia -- Vogt, Stefan -- Clark, Elizabeth G -- Anderson, Ross P -- Petermann, Holger -- Locatelli, Emma R -- Briggs, Derek E G -- England -- Nature. 2016 Apr 28;532(7600):496-9. doi: 10.1038/nature16992. Epub 2016 Mar 16.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Author address: 〈/span〉Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, 210 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA. ; American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York 10024, USA. ; Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, USA. ; X-ray Science Division, Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA. ; Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA.〈br /〉〈span class="detail_caption"〉Record origin:〈/span〉 〈a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26982721" target="_blank"〉PubMed〈/a〉
    Keywords: Animal Fins/anatomy & histology ; Animals ; Extinction, Biological ; Eye/anatomy & histology ; *Fossils ; Gastrointestinal Tract/anatomy & histology ; Illinois ; Lampreys/classification ; Notochord/anatomy & histology ; *Phylogeny ; Tooth/anatomy & histology ; Vertebrates/anatomy & histology/*classification
    Print ISSN: 0028-0836
    Electronic ISSN: 1476-4687
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-02-23
    Description: A new exceptionally preserved marginal marine biota is reported from the Late Ordovician Big Hill Formation of Stonington Peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The new Lagerstätte hosts a moderately diverse fauna of medusae, linguloid brachiopods, non-mineralized arthropods and orthocone nautiloids, alongside dasycladalean green algae. The biota is similar to those of Lagerstätten from the Late Ordovician of Canada, revealing an extensive distribution of a distinctive marginal marine palaeocommunity in Laurentia at this time. The Big Hill biota extends the geographical range of exceptionally preserved Late Ordovician faunas in Laurentia and indicates that further examples remain to be discovered.
    Print ISSN: 0016-7649
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: A new exceptionally preserved marginal marine biota is reported from the Late Ordovician Big Hill Formation of Stonington Peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The new Lagerstätte hosts a moderately diverse fauna of medusae, linguloid brachiopods, non-mineralized arthropods and orthocone nautiloids, alongside dasycladalean green algae. The biota is similar to those of Lagerstätten from the Late Ordovician of Canada, revealing an extensive distribution of a distinctive marginal marine palaeocommunity in Laurentia at this time. The Big Hill biota extends the geographical range of exceptionally preserved Late Ordovician faunas in Laurentia and indicates that further examples remain to be discovered.
    Print ISSN: 0016-7649
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2013-05-04
    Description: A single specimen of a new species of the synziphosurine Kasibelinurus Pickett, 1993 is described from the Lower Devonian (Lochkovian) Xiaxishancun Formation of Yunnan Province, China. The new species, K. yueya sp. nov., extends the geographic extent of the family Kasibelinuridae from the Australian palaeocontinent to the South China palaeocontinent, and the stratigraphic range back some 50 Ma from Late to Early Devonian.
    Print ISSN: 0016-7568
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-5081
    Topics: Geosciences
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