5 Works

Data from: Synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy of fossil embryos

Philip C. J. Donoghue, Stefan Bengtson, Xi-Ping Dong, Neil J. Gostling, Therese Huldtgren, John A. Cunningham, Chongyu Yin, Zhao Yue, Fan Peng & Marco Stampanoni
Fossilized embryos from the late Neoproterozoic and earliest Phanerozoic have caused much excitement because they preserve the earliest stages of embryology of animals that represent the initial diversification of metazoans. However, the potential of this material has not been fully realized because of reliance on traditional, non-destructive methods that allow analysis of exposed surfaces only, and destructive methods that preserve only a single two-dimensional view of the interior of the specimen. Here, we have applied...

Data from: Fossil embryos from the Middle and Late Cambrian period of Hunan, south China

Xi-Ping Dong, Philip C. J. Donoghue, Hong Cheng & Jian-Bo Liu
Comparative embryology is integral to uncovering the pattern and process of metazoan phylogeny, but it relies on the assumption that life histories of living taxa are representative of their antecedents. Fossil embryos provide a crucial test of this assumption and, potentially, insight into the evolution of development, but because discoveries so far lack phylogenetic constraint, their significance is moot. Here we describe a collection of embryos from the Middle and Late Cambrian period (500 million...

Data from: The anatomy, affinity, and phylogenetic significance of Markuelia

Xi-Ping Dong, Philip C. J. Donoghue, John A. Cunningham, Jian-Bo Liu & Hong Cheng
The fossil record provides a paucity of data on the development of extinct organisms, particularly for their embryology. The recovery of fossilized embryos heralds new insight into the evolution of development but advances are limited by an almost complete absence of phylogenetic constraint. Markuelia is an exception to this, known from cleavage and pre-hatchling stages as a vermiform and profusely annulated direct-developing bilaterian with terminal circumoral and posterior radial arrays of spines. Phylogenetic analyses have...

Data from: Are palaeoscolecids ancestral ecdysozoans?

Thomas H. P. Harvey, Xiping Dong & Philip C. J. Donoghue
The reconstruction of ancestors is a central aim of comparative anatomy and evolutionary developmental biology, not least in attempts to understand the relationship between developmental and organismal evolution. Inferences based on living taxa can and should be tested against the fossil record, which provides an independent and direct view onto historical character combinations. Here, we consider the nature of the last common ancestor of living ecdysozoans through a detailed analysis of palaeoscolecids, an early and...

Data from: The anatomy, taphonomy, taxonomy and systematic affinity of Markuelia: Early Cambrian to Early Ordovician scalidophorans

Xi-Ping Dong, Stefan Bengston, Neil J. Gostling, John A. Cunningham, Thomas H. P. Harvey, Artem Kouchinsky, Anatoly K. Val'kov, John E. Repetski, Marco Stampanoni, Federica Marone & Philip C. J. Donoghue
Markuelia is a vermiform, annulated introvertan animal known as embryonic fossils from the Lower Cambrian to Lower Ordovician. Analysis of an expanded and revised dataset for Introverta shows that the precise position of Markuelia within this clade is dependent on the taxa included. As a result, Markuelia is assigned to the scalidophoran total group to reflect uncertainty as to whether it is a stem-scalidophoran or a stem-priapulid. The taxonomy of the genus is revised to...

Registration Year

  • 2012

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Peking University
  • University of Bristol
  • Paul Scherrer Institute
  • Swedish Museum of Natural History
  • University of Cambridge
  • State University of New York at Oswego
  • Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry
  • United States Geological Survey