First Carboniferous thylacocephalan from Europe and its significance for the understanding of functional morphology of Concavicarididae Schram, 2014

in Crustaceana
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Thylacocephala Pinna, Arduini, Pesarini & Teruzzi 1982 are among the most enigmatic arthropods. Their fossil record is very patchy both geographically and stratigraphically. In this paper we describe the first thylacocephalan known from the Carboniferous (Mississippian) of Europe, Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. Until now Carboniferous representatives of Thylacocephala were know exclusively from the U.S.A. We discuss the stratigraphic and geological context of occurrence of this new species as well as form and function of the unique carapace micro- and macro-ornamentation. A shape and assumed function of the characteristic lirae on the C. viktoryni sp. nov. carapace present an important supporting argument for the supposed free-swimming or pelagic mode of life in thylacocephalans. Palaeobiogeographical and evolutionary aspects of surprisingly rich but local occurrence of thylacocephalans in the Lower Carboniferous of the Moravian karst are discussed. Possible sympatric evolution from its predecessor Concavicaris incola is also pointed out.

First Carboniferous thylacocephalan from Europe and its significance for the understanding of functional morphology of Concavicarididae Schram, 2014

in Crustaceana



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    Location of Anaklety site. A, Location of the Bohemian Massif, the Czech Republic and Brno; B, schematic map of Brno and its vicinity; C, the position of the Anaklety locality (enlarged rectangle from B).

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    Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. A, Photograph of holotype specimen SR 102 coated with ammonium chloride; B, explanatory drawing of A: 1, outline; 2, interpretation of missing ventral margin of carapace; 3, areas with unfavourably preserved cuticule.

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    Paratype specimens of Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. A, SR 103; B, SR 104; C, SR 105; D, SR 106.

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    Characteristic macroronamentation of Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. in form of falciform lirae. A, Negative image of counterpart of holotype specimen SR 102 with marked parts of carapace magnified in panels B, C, D and E. (Scale bar = 0.1 cm.)

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    Reconstructed carapace ornamentation pattern of Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. (based on pencil drawing by Anna Łazuka).

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    Micro-ornamentation pattern of Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. A, Chevron-like lirae near the antero-ventral part of carapace; B, sinusoid pattern near the dorsal carapace margin; note that micro-ornamentation is parallel to macro-ornament; C, densely packed lirae; D, EDS spectra for cuticle bit shown in panel C, pointing out the phosphatic composition of fossil.

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    Micro-ornamentation patterns of concavicarids. A, Densely packed lirae of Concavicaris viktoryni sp. nov. (this study); B, polygonal pattern of Concavicaris sp. aff. bradleyi (Meek, 1872) from the upper Devonian (lower Famennian) of Kowala quarry, Poland (Broda et al., 2015); C, scale-like pattern of Concavicaris incola (Chlupáč, 1963) from the upper Devonian (Famennian) of Hády near Brno, Czech Republic (see Chlupáč, 1963; photography by Štěpán Rak); D, scale-like pattern of Concavicaris sinuata (Meek & Worthen, 1868) from the Mississippian of Mecca quarry, IN, U.S.A. (Briggs & Rolfe, 1983).

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