Paedomorphosis in Middle Cambrian xystridurine trilobites from northern Australia

McNamara, K. J. (1981) Paedomorphosis in Middle Cambrian xystridurine trilobites from northern Australia. Alcheringa, 5 (3-4). pp. 209-224. ISSN 0311-5518 DOI

[img] Text
03115518108567002 - Published Version

Download (119kB)
Official URL:


Heterochrony, that is phyletic change in the onset or timing of morphological development, is considered to have been the principal factor affecting the evolution of a number of xystridurine trilobite species during the Middle Cambrian. Galahetes shows morphological and size characteristics which indicate that precocious maturation, that is progenesis, was the process responsible for its paedomorphic evolution during the Templetonian Stage. The morphological characteristics of adult Galahetes parallel those found in juvenile stages of Xystridura templetonensis, whose morphology is essentially that of the conservative, structurally ancestral xystridurine stem form which persisted through the Ordian and Templetonian Stages. Both X. altera and X. dunstani are also considered to have evolved from this stem form by paedomorphosis during the Templetonian Stage. In these species, however, the process is thought to have been neoteny, whereby retardation of somatic development resulted in retention of characters which occurred in juveniles of their progenitors. Retardation in onset of maturity, which often accompanies neoteny, allowed the attainment of a larger size.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: AREP Nil
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
Journal or Publication Title: Alcheringa
Volume: 5
Page Range: pp. 209-224
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2018 10:48
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2018 10:48

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

About cookies