The mouth apparatus of the Cambrian gilled lobopodian Pambdelurion whittingtoni

Jakob Vinther*, Luis Porras, Fletcher Young, Graham E. Budd, Gregory D. Edgecombe

*Corresponding author for this work

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

20 Citations (Scopus)
251 Downloads (Pure)


Omnidens is a large feeding apparatus composed of circlets of teeth, first documented from the early Cambrian of China. Originally interpreted as the oral cone of a radiodontan, it was later reinterpreted as the introvert of a priapulan. In both cases the Omnidens mouthparts underpinned estimates of gigantic (c. 2 m) body size. Recent evidence has been used to suggest that pharyngeal teeth and radially-arranged oral plates in the stem-group onychophoran Hallucigenia and the lower stem-group euarthropod Jianshanopodia are homologous to structures of the introvert in priapulans and other scalidophorans, and are thus primitive characters for moulting animals (Ecdysozoa) as a whole. Here we show that the early Cambrian gilled lobopodian Pambdelurion whittingtoni from Sirius Passet, Greenland, possesses a mouth apparatus identical to Omnidens, being composed of the same three zones with detailed similarities of sclerites in each zone. An oral cone with rings of pharyngeal teeth, radial plates and outer scalid-like plates are ecdysozoan characters retained in the euarthropod stem group. Omnidens from China probably belongs to an unrecognized Pambdelurion-like animal rather than being part of a giant priapulan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-849
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Early online date26 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Cambrian
  • Pambdelurion
  • Sirius Passet Lagerstätte
  • Ecdysozoa

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The mouth apparatus of the Cambrian gilled lobopodian <em>Pambdelurion whittingtoni</em>'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this