Soft-bodied fossils from the Shipai Formation, Lower Cambrian of the Three Gorge area, South China
Mudstones and shales in the Lower Cambrian Shipai Formation in the Three Gorge area, Hubei, China, are richly fossiliferous, containing common shelly fossils and some soft-bodied fossils. The latter provide important new information about the nature and variety of Cambrian soft-bodied organisms. Identifiable, non-mineralized taxa include components of the Chengjiang fauna, such as Vetulicola Hou, 1987, a palaeoscolecidan referable to Maotianshania Sun & Hou, 1987, and a brachiopod Diandongia pista with pedicle preserved (not illustrated). Cambrorhytium Conway Morris & Robison, 1988, co-occurring both in the Burgess Shale and the Chengjiang Lagerstätte, was also recovered. Additionally, a new worm is described based on two specimens. This taxon, in common with many other fossil worms, has a slender, cylindrical body with annulations, but it is characterized by each annulus bearing an elevated ridge and lacking surface ornamentation. The occurrence of exceptional preservation in the Shipai Formation has likely been overlooked due to the relatively poor resolution of soft-bodied fossils; nevertheless, this occurrence is an important extension of the Burgess Shale-type biotas in China, over 1500 km northeast of the provenance of the Chengjiang Lagerstätte.(Received April 6 2004)
(Accepted February 3 2005)
Key Words: Lower Cambrian; Burgess Shale; lagerstätten; Shipai Formation; soft-bodied fossils; South China.
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