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A Possible Onychophoran from the Middle Pennsylvanian Mazon Creek Beds of Northern Illinois

Ida Thompson and Douglas S. Jones
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 54, No. 3 (May, 1980), pp. 588-596
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1304204
Page Count: 9
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A Possible Onychophoran from the Middle Pennsylvanian Mazon Creek Beds of Northern Illinois
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Abstract

A lobopod animal, Helenodora inopinata n.gen., n.sp., is described from two specimens preserved in siderite concretions from the Middle Pennsylvanian Francis Creek Shale, Illinois. The specimens are characterized by a long, vermiform trunk bearing 21 or more pairs of short, lobose limbs ventro-laterally placed. One limb is preserved with two small hook-like claws. Other limbs have suggestions of claws. The body is annulated, with about nine annulations per limb-bearing section. The annulations bear small papillae. The head and posterior end are poorly preserved but there is a suggestion of jaws indicating a ventral mouth in both specimens. All preserved characteristics are compatible with assignment of H. inopinata to the subphylum Onychophora. However, because of the poor preservation of the anterior and posterior, assignment is made only to the Phylum Uniramia Manton, 1972. Since the Mazon Creek beds contain a mixture of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine organisms, the habitat of this species remains uncertain.

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