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Title: Variation in appendages in early Cambrian bradoriids reveals a wide range of body plans in stem-euarthropods
Authors: Zhai, D
Williams, M
Siveter, D
Harvey, T
Sansom, R
Gabbott, S
Siveter, D
Ma, X
Zhou, R
Yu, L
Xianguang, H
First Published: 2019
Publisher: Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)
Citation: Communications Biology, 2019, In Press
Abstract: Traditionally, the origin and evolution of modern arthropod body plans has been revealed through increasing levels of appendage specialisation exhibited by Cambrian euarthropods. Here we show significant variation in limb morphologies and patterns of limb-tagmosis among three early Cambrian arthropod species conventionally assigned to the Bradoriida. These arthropods are recovered as a monophyletic stem-euarthropod group (and sister taxon to crown group euarthropods, i.e. Chelicerata, Mandibulata and their extinct relatives), thus implying a radiation of stem-euarthropods where trends towards increasing appendage specialisation were explored convergently with other euarthropod groups. The alternative solution, where bradoriids are polyphyletic, representing several independent origins of a small, bivalved body plan in lineages from diverse regions of the euarthropod and mandibulate stems, is only marginally less parsimonious. The new data reveal a previously unknown disparity of body plans in stem-euarthropods and both solutions support remarkable evolutionary convergence, either of fundamental body plans or appendage specialization patterns.
ISSN: 2399-3642
Links: TBA
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019, Nature Research (part of Springer Nature). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: Data are available from the authors on request. Fossil specimens are deposited at the Yunnan Key Laboratory for Palaeobiology (YKLP), Yunnan University, China, with the accession numbers: YKLP 16231, 16232, 16233, 16235, 16236. For the phylogenetic analysis depicted in Figure 4, the data matrix and associated search commands are available via MorphoBank, project 3499 (
The file associated with this record is under embargo until publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geology

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