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Title: The Scleritome of 'Eccentrotheca' from the Lower Cambrian of South Australia: Lophophorate affinities and implications for tommotiid phylogeny
Contributor(s): Skovsted, CB (author); Brock, GA (author); Paterson, John Richard  (author)orcid ; Holmer, LE (author); Budd, G (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1130/G24385A.1
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Abstract: The first partially articulated scleritome of a tommotiid, 'Eccentrotheca' sp., is described from the Lower Cambrian of South Australia. The 'Eccentrotheca' scleritome consists of individual sclerites fused in a spiral arrangement, forming a tapering tube-shaped skeleton with an inclined apical aperture and a circular to subcircular cross section. Traditionally, tommotiid sclerites have been assumed to form a dorsal armor of imbricating phosphatic plates in slug-like bilaterians, analogous to the calcareous sclerites of halkieriids. The structure of the 'Eccentrotheca' scleritome is here reinterpreted as a tube composed of independent, irregularly shaped sclerites growing by basal-marginal accretion that were successively fused to form a rigid, protective tubular structure. The asymmetrical shape and sometimes acute inclination of the apical aperture suggests that the apical part of the scleritome was cemented to a hard surface via a basal disc, from which it projected vertically. Rather than being a vagrant member of the benthos, 'Eccentrotheca' most likely represented a sessile, vermiform filter feeder. The new data suggest that the affinities of 'Eccentrotheca', and possibly some other problematic tommotiids, lie with the lophophorates (i.e., the phoronids and brachiopods), a clade that also possesses a phosphatic shell chemistry and a sessile life habit.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Geology, 36(2), p. 171-174
Publisher: Geological Society of America
Place of Publication: United States
ISSN: 1943-2682
Field of Research (FOR): 040308 Palaeontology (incl Palynology)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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