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

Eriksson, Mats LU and Terfelt, Fredrik LU (2012) In PLoS ONE 7(4).
Abstract
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... (More)
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. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
7
issue
4
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000305345200055
  • pmid:22558180
  • scopus:84864759805
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0035625
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9bacd384-ff63-48a5-9949-8feb51f8f85b (old id 2609134)
date added to LUP
2012-11-06 13:35:56
date last changed
2017-10-01 04:17:08
@article{9bacd384-ff63-48a5-9949-8feb51f8f85b,
  abstract     = {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.},
  articleno    = {e35625},
  author       = {Eriksson, Mats and Terfelt, Fredrik},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Exceptionally Preserved Cambrian Trilobite Digestive System Revealed in 3D by Synchrotron-Radiation X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035625},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2012},
}