Caron Jean-Bernard

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  • Preprint
    A soft-bodied mollusc with radula from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale
    ( 2006-02-01) Caron, Jean-Bernard ; Scheltema, Amelie H. ; Schander, Christoffer ; Rudkin, David
    Odontogriphus omalus was originally described as a problematic non-biomineralized lophophorate organism. Here we reinterpret Odontogriphus based on 189 new specimens including numerous exceptionally well-preserved individuals from the Burgess Shale collections of the Royal Ontario Museum. This additional material provides compelling evidence that the feeding apparatus in Odontogriphus is a radula of molluscan architecture comprising two primary bipartite tooth rows attached to a radular membrane and showing replacement by posterior addition. Further characters supporting molluscan affinity include a broad foot bordered by numerous ctenidia located in a mantle groove and a stiffened cuticular dorsum. Odontogriphus has a radula similar to Wiwaxia corrugata but lacks a scleritome. We interpret these animals to be members of an early stem-group mollusc lineage that likely originated in the Neoproterozoic Ediacaran Period, providing support for the retention of a biomat-based grazing community from the late Precambrian until at least the Middle Cambrian.