Guangweia cheni gen. et sp. nov. is an exceptionally preserved frond-like fossil from the early Cambrian Guanshan Biota of SW China, which shares morphological similarities with some characteristic late Ediacaran frondose organisms in comprising a leaf-like frond attached via a stem to a discoidal structure resembling a holdfast. Plausible evidence for tissue differentiation and bilateral symmetry in G. cheni implies a eumetazoan affinity. However, G. cheni profoundly differs from Ediacaran frondose taxa in several morphological characters, including its possession of an unusual wedge-shaped apical structure. These observations preclude direct phylogenetic relationships with known Ediacaran forms. Instead, G. cheni may record convergent evolution of a frondose bodyplan: a possibility that should be entertained for other purported Cambrian frondose taxa.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Advances in the Cambrian Explosion collection available at:

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