Odontogriphus: earliest mollusk
Caron, Jean-Bernard Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Scheltema, Amélie H. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Schander, Christoffer Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Rudkin, David Department of Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- General description of mollusks
- Molluscan roots
- Burgess Shale
- Odontogriphus, a Cambrian chimera
- Affinities and ecology
- Early evolution of mollusks revisited
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The origin and early evolutionary history of mollusks, one of the most diverse and fascinating groups of animals alive today, is traditionally based on the study of shells found in fossil deposits dating from the Early Cambrian, about 540 million years ago. Different hypotheses concerning the supposed morphology of the ancestral mollusk have emerged in the last 20 years, one preponderant view being that early forms were microscopic and possessed a simple mineralized shell. The restudy of a collection of half- billion-year-old fossils from the Burgess Shale (a fossil deposit featuring exceptionally preserved Middle Cambrian marine biota located in southern British Columbia) opens new insights concerning early molluscan evolution.
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