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Title: Morphology of Cambrian lobopodian eyes from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte and their evolutionary significance.
Authors: Ma, X
Hou, X
Aldridge, RJ
Siveter, DJ
Siveter, DJ
Gabbott, SE
Purnell, MA
Parker, AR
Edgecombe, GD
First Published: Sep-2012
Citation: ARTHROPOD STRUCT DEV, 2012, 41 (5), pp. 495-504
Abstract: Visual organs are widely distributed throughout the animal kingdom and exhibit a great diversity of morphologies. Compound eyes consisting of numerous visual units (ommatidia) are the oldest preserved visual systems of arthropods, but their origins are obscure and hypothetical models for their evolution have been difficult to test in the absence of unequivocal fossil evidence. Here we reveal the detailed eye structures of well-preserved Early Cambrian lobopodians Luolishania longicruris and Hallucigenia fortis from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte, China. These animals possess a pair of eyes composed of at least two visual units, interpreted as pigment cups. Contrary to previous suggestions that Cambrian lobopodians possessed ocellus-like eyes comparable to those of extant onychophorans, this multi-component structure is more similar to the lateral eyes of arthropods. Morphological comparison and phylogenetic analyses indicate that these lobopodian eyes may represent an early stage in the evolution of the ancestral visual system of euarthropods.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.asd.2012.03.002
eISSN: 1873-5495
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geology

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