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Mats Eriksson

Mats Eriksson

Professor

Mats Eriksson

Exceptionally Preserved Cambrian Trilobite Digestive System Revealed in 3D by Synchrotron-Radiation X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy.

Författare

  • Mats Eriksson
  • Fredrik Terfelt

Summary, in English

The Cambrian 'Orsten' fauna comprises exceptionally preserved and phosphatised microscopic arthropods. The external morphology of these fossils is well known, but their internal soft-tissue anatomy has remained virtually unknown. Here, we report the first non-biomineralised tissues from a juvenile polymerid trilobite, represented by digestive structures, glands, and connective strands harboured in a hypostome from the Swedish 'Orsten' fauna. Synchrotron-radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy enabled three-dimensional internal recordings at sub-micrometre resolution. The specimen provides the first unambiguous evidence for a J-shaped anterior gut and the presence of a crop with a constricted alimentary tract in the Trilobita. Moreover, the gut is Y-shaped in cross section, probably due to a collapsed lumen of that shape, another feature which has not previously been observed in trilobites. The combination of anatomical features suggests that the trilobite hypostome is functionally analogous to the labrum of euarthropods and that it was a sophisticated element closely integrated with the digestive system. This study also briefly addresses the preservational bias of the 'Orsten' fauna, particularly the near-absence of polymerid trilobites, and the taphonomy of the soft-tissue-harbouring hypostome.

Avdelning/ar

  • Berggrundsgeologi

Publiceringsår

2012

Språk

Engelska

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

PLoS ONE

Volym

7

Issue

4

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

Public Library of Science

Ämne

  • Geology

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 1932-6203