Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

College/Unit

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program/Center

Geology and Geography

Abstract

Background

Chasmataspidids are a rare group of chelicerate arthropods known from 12 species assigned to ten genera, with a geologic range extending from the Ordovician to the Devonian. The Late Ordovician (Richmondian) fauna of the Big Hill Lagerstätte includes a new species of chasmataspidid represented by 55 specimens. This taxon is only the second chasmataspidid described from the Ordovician and preserves morphological details unknown from any of the previously described species.

Results

The new chasmataspidid species is described as Hoplitaspis hiawathai gen. et sp. nov.. Comparison with all other known chasmataspidids indicates that Hoplitaspisoccupies an intermediate morphological position between the Ordovician Chasmataspis and the Silurian-Devonian diploaspidids. While the modification of appendage VI into a broad swimming paddle allies Hoplitaspis to the Diploaspididae, the paddle lacks the anterior ‘podomere 7a’ found in other diploaspidids and shows evidence of having been derived from a Chasmataspis-like chelate appendage. Other details, such as the large body size and degree of expression of the first tergite, show clear affinities with Chasmataspis, providing strong support for chasmataspidid monophyly.

Conclusions

The large body size and well-developed appendage armature of Hoplitaspis reveals that chasmataspidids occupied a greater breadth of ecological roles than previously thought, with the abundance of available specimens indicating that Hoplitaspis was an important component of the local community. The miniaturization and ecological limiting of diploaspidids potentially coincides with the major radiation of eurypterids and may suggest some degree of competition between the two groups. The geographic distribution of chasmataspidid species suggests the group may have originated in Laurentia and migrated to the paleocontinents of Baltica and Siberia as tectonic processes drew the paleocontinents into close proximity.

Source Citation

Lamsdell, J.C., Gunderson, G.O. & Meyer, R.C. A common arthropod from the Late Ordovician Big Hill Lagerstätte (Michigan) reveals an unexpected ecological diversity within Chasmataspidida. BMC Evol Biol 19, 8 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-018-1329-4

Comments

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.