Sophisticated particle-feeding in a large Early Cambrian crustacean

Harvey, T. H. P. and Butterfield, N. J. (2008) Sophisticated particle-feeding in a large Early Cambrian crustacean. Nature, 452. pp. 868-871. DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06724

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature06724

Abstract

Most Cambrian arthropods employed simple feeding mechanisms requiring only low degrees of appendage differentiation1,2,3. In contrast, post-Cambrian crustaceans exhibit a wide diversity of feeding specializations and possess a vast ecological repertoire. Crustaceans are evident in the Cambrian fossil record, but have hitherto been known exclusively from small individuals with limited appendage differentiation4. Here we describe a sophisticated feeding apparatus from an Early Cambrian arthropod that had a body length of several centimetres. Details of the mouthparts resolve this taxon as a probable crown-group (pan)crustacean, while its feeding style, which allowed it to generate and handle fine food particles, significantly expands the known ecological capabilities of Cambrian arthropods. This Early Cambrian record predates the major expansions of large-bodied, particle-handling crustaceans by at least one hundred million years5,6, emphasizing the importance of ecological context in driving adaptive radiations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2007 AREP; IA55; 2008 P; phd
Subjects: 04 - Palaeobiology
Divisions: 04 - Palaeobiology
12 - PhD
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Volume: 452
Page Range: pp. 868-871
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature06724
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:02
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2019 11:32
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/361

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