Wutingaspis tingi Trilobite from Chengjiang Biota

Wutingaspis tingi

Class Trilobita, Order Redlichiida, Family Redlichiidae

Geological Time: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)

Size: 10 mm long, 6 mm across on a 23 mm by 21 mm matrix.

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Biota - Guanshan Fauna, Lower most part of Wulongqing Formation, Caijiachong Valley, Yieyatoung, Gangtoucun Village, Xiamacun Town, Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China

Wutingaspis tingiDescription: This trilobite is a member of the Order Redlichiida, Family Redlichiidae known as Wutingaspis tingi. It comes from what has been termed the “Guanshan Fauna”, found in the Wulongqing Formation. The Guanshan Fauna shares many genera with the slightly older Chengjiang Biota, but differs at the species level. The diversity of soft-tissue fossils from the Chengjiang Biota is astonishing: algae, medusiforms, sponges, priapulids, annelid-like worms, echinoderms, arthropods (including trilobites), hemichordates, chordates, and the first agnathan fish make up just a small fraction of the total. Numerous problematic forms are known as well, some of which may have represented failed attempts at diversity that did not persist to the present day. The Redlichiids of this type are considered to be the sister-group comprising all of the “higher” (non-Olenelloid) trilobites by Richard Fortey. This is a well-preserved 3-D member of the Chengjiang Biota that made up a glimpse of the Cambrian Explosion some 5-10 million years before the Burgess Shale fauna came into being.

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