Cambrian Ancestor of Crustaceans and Insects in 3D

January 7, 2019
Ercaicunia micro CT model by Dayou Zhai

The pancrustaceans are the most diverse animal group to ever exist, and include familiar kinds of arthropods such as crustaceans (e.g. shrimp, crabs, lobsters) and six-legged insects. A new study by Prof. Javier Ortega-Hernández and Joanna Wolfe (Research Associate, Ortega-Hernández Lab), in collaboration with colleagues at Yunnan University in Kunming, illuminate details on the evolution of these successful invertebrates. The findings, published in the January 7th issue of Current Biology, reveal delicate details of the head and trunk limbs, such as antennae, mandibles and epipodites (gill-like structures on the legs) of the shrimp-like fossil Ercaicunia multinodosa, which are diagnostic features observed in extant pancrustaceans.

Image: Ercaicunia Micro CT Model by Dayou Zhai
See also: Faculty News, 2019