Lobopod Gut - Representative Taxa

Representative Taxa

The better-known genera include, for example, Aysheaia, which was discovered among the Canadian Burgess Shale and which is the most similar of the Lobopoda in appearance to the modern velvet worms; a pair of appendages on the head have been considered precursors of today's antennae. Xenusion was apparently able to roll itself up, spines outward, giving insight into the defensive strategies of the Lobopoda. However, by far the most famous of the lobopod genera is Hallucigenia, named on account of its bizarre appearance. It was originally reconstructed with long, stilt-like legs and mysterious fleshy dorsal protuberances, and was long considered a prime example of the way in which nature experimented with the most diverse and bizarre body designs during the Cambrian. However, further discoveries showed that this reconstruction had placed the animal upside-down: interpreting the "stilts" as dorsal spines made it clear that the fleshy "dorsal" protuberances were actually legs. This second reconstruction also exchanged the front and rear ends of the creature, which further investigation showed to be erroneous. The armoured lobopodian Diania is significant for having the most arthropod-like appendages. Along-legged taxon is known from the Carboniferous Mazon Creek.

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