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Lower Cambrian Halkieriids and Other Coeloscleritophorans from Aksu-Wushi, Xinjiang, China

S. Conway Morris and A. J. Chapman
Journal of Paleontology
Vol. 71, No. 1 (Jan., 1997), pp. 6-22
Published by: Paleontological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1306536
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Lower Cambrian Halkieriids and Other Coeloscleritophorans from Aksu-Wushi, Xinjiang, China
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Abstract

Halkieriids are known largely from isolated sclerites, although it is understood that originally they formed the scleritomes of slug-like animals in Lower Cambrian benthic environments. The Yurtus Formation (?Tommotian--Atdabanian equivalent) of the Aksu-Wushi area, west Xinjiang, China, has yielded abundant sclerites. These are secondarily phosphatized, but show considerable detail. The sclerites can be divided into three classes: cultrates, long palmates, and short palmates; definite siculates have not been recognized. In some samples elongate to semicircular shells co-occur with the sclerites; these may derive from the same halkieriid scleritome. The external surface of the shells may bear a subdued ornamentation. The concave interior, however, is remarkable on account of a unique structure consisting of a group of nodular-like units. These may be arranged in a low cone or dispersed in a small circle. In addition to the sclerites of halkieriids and their possibly associated shells, rarer material is attributable to the related group of siphogonuchitids.

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