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Article: The first Silurian trilobite with three-dimensionally preserved soft parts reveals novel appendage morphology

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 7 Issue 1 - Cover
Publication: Papers in Palaeontology
Volume: 7
Part: 4
Publication Date: November 2021
Page(s): 2245 2253
Author(s): Derek J. Siveter, Richard A. Fortey, Derek E. G. Briggs, David J. Siveter, and Mark D. Sutton
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1401
Addition Information

How to Cite

SIVETER, D.J., FORTEY, R.A., BRIGGS, D.E.G., SIVETER, D.J., SUTTON, M.D. 2021. . Papers in Palaeontology, 7, 4, 2245-2253. DOI: /doi/10.1002/spp2.1401

Author Information

  • Derek J. Siveter - Earth Collections University Museum of Natural History Oxford OX1 3PW UK
  • Derek J. Siveter - Department of Earth Sciences University of Oxford South Parks Road Oxford OX1 3AN UK
  • Richard A. Fortey - Department of Earth Sciences The Natural History Museum Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD UK
  • Derek E. G. Briggs - Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History Yale University PO Box 208109 New Haven CT 06520-8109 USA
  • David J. Siveter - School of Geography, Geology and the Environment University of Leicester Leicester LE1 7RH UK
  • Mark D. Sutton - Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering Imperial College London London SW7 2BP UK

Publication History

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    The first Silurian trilobite known with soft parts preserved, a Dalmanites species, is described from the Herefordshire Lagerstätte. Biramous appendages and much of the alimentary system are evident. High-fidelity three-dimensional preservation reveals a novel arrangement of the exopod, in which successive filaments are connected by a presumed membrane. This morphology explains a misinterpretation of the exopod as supporting spiral structures, originally reported nearly 150 years ago. Comparison with other trilobite limbs indicates that the exopod morphology of Dalmanites is present in other members of Phacopida. The function of the exopod is considered to be primarily respiratory.


    Sarah Joomun and Carolyn Lewis are thanked for reconstructing the virtual model, the late Tom Whitely for providing photographs of Walcott’s slides, David Evans and the late Roy Fenn for fieldwork assistance, and Greg Edgecombe and Nigel Hughes for providing insightful reviews that much benefitted the manuscript. Elissa Suphapun Sorojsrisom prepared the final version of Figure 3. The Natural Environment Research Council (NE/F018037/1), The Leverhulme Trust (EM-2014-068), Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History Invertebrate Paleontology Division and English Nature provided funding support.

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