Abstract

A well-preserved fossil priapulid worm, Xiaoheiqingella sp., is reported from the early Cambrian Guanshan Lagerstätte (Cambrian Series II, Stage 4) near Kunming City, Yunnan Province, SW China. The body of the animal consists of four sections: a swollen introvert, a constricted neck, a finely annulated trunk and a caudal appendage. The body configuration exhibits a close resemblance to that of the crown group priapulid Xiaoheiqingella peculiaris from the early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte. The new discovery provides another striking example of crown group priapulids, representing the third occurrence of crown group fossil priapulids after the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Cambrian Series II, Stage 3) and the Mazon Creek Lagerstätte (late Moscovian Stage, Pennsylvanian). The discovery also sheds new light on the early diversity and evolution of priapulid worms.

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