Embryos, polyps and medusae of the Early Cambrian scyphozoan Olivooides

Xi-Ping Dong, John A. Cunningham, Stefan Bengtson, Ceri-Wyn Thomas, Jianbo Liu, Marco Stampanoni, Philip C. J. Donoghue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Early Cambrian organism Olivooides is known from both embryonic and post-embryonic stages and, consequently, it has the potential to yield vital insights into developmental evolution at the time that animal body plans were established. However, this potential can only be realized if the phylogenetic relationships of Olivooides can be constrained. The affinities of Olivooides have proved controversial because of the lack of knowledge of the internal anatomy and the limited range of developmental stages known. Here, we describe rare embryonic specimens in which internal anatomical features are preserved. We also present a fuller sequence of fossilized developmental stages of Olivooides, including associated specimens that we interpret as budding ephyrae (juvenile medusae), all of which display a clear pentaradial symmetry. Within the framework of a cnidarian interpretation, the new data serve to pinpoint the phylogenetic position of Olivooides to the scyphozoan stem group. Hypotheses about scalidophoran or echinoderm affinities of Olivooides can be rejected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20130071
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume280
Issue number1757
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2013

Keywords

  • AFFINITIES
  • CNIDARIA
  • Olivooides
  • embryo
  • SOUTH CHINA
  • scyphozoan
  • LIFE-CYCLE
  • RAY TOMOGRAPHIC MICROSCOPY
  • fossil
  • PUNCTATUS
  • EGGS
  • cnidarian
  • medusa
  • FOSSIL EMBRYOS
  • CORONATAE
  • STEPHANOSCYPHUS SCYPHOZOA

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