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

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image of Crustaceana

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.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 12800, Prague 2, Czech Republic ; 2: 2Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia, Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland ; 3: 3Department of Geological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, Brno 602 00, Czech Republic

4Corresponding author; e-mail:

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