Abstract

Wiwaxia is an extinct early metazoan with uncertain affinities, which is well represented in strata of Cambrian Series 2–3 age. Well-preserved representatives of Wiwaxia are known from the Burgess Shale Biota and the Kaili Biota. Here, new material of Wiwaxia corrugata (Matthew, 1899) is reported from the upper part of the Tsinghsutung Formation (Cambrian Series 2) near Balang Village, Guizhou Province, China. These specimens have a close evolutionary relationship to Wiwaxia taijiangensis Zhao, Qian & Lee, 1994 from the overlying Kaili Formation. New Wiwaxia material from the Tsinghsutung Formation and observations of specimens with articulated individuals from the Kaili Formation suggest that Wiwaxia taijiangensis should be a junior synonym of W. corrugata. A new study indicates that W. corrugata has a wide geographic distribution, a short geological history and evolutionary uniqueness and provides new data on taphonomy of this genus.

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