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Article: Analysis of morphological variability in the clam shrimp Eosestheria middendorfii (Crustacea, Spinicaudata) from the Lower Cretaceous of China, and its implications for spinicaudatan taxonomy

Papers in Palaeontology - Volume 4 Part 1 - Cover Image
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 4
Part: 1
Publication Date: Febuary 2018
Page(s): 21 53
Author(s): Manja Hethke, Franz T. Fürsich, Jacob D. Morton, and Baoyu Jiang
DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1096
Addition Information

How to Cite

HETHKE, M., FüRSICH, F.T., MORTON, J.D., JIANG, B. 2018. Analysis of morphological variability in the clam shrimp Eosestheria middendorfii (Crustacea, Spinicaudata) from the Lower Cretaceous of China, and its implications for spinicaudatan taxonomy . Papers in Palaeontology, 4, 1, 21-53. DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1096

Author Information

  • Manja Hethke - GeoZentrum Nordbayern FG Paläobiologie Universität Erlangen‐Nürnberg Loewenichstraße 28 91054 Erlangen Germany
  • Manja Hethke - Institut für Geologische Wissenschaften Freie Universität Berlin Malteserstraße 74‐100 D‐12249 Berlin Germany
  • Franz T. Fürsich - GeoZentrum Nordbayern FG Paläobiologie Universität Erlangen‐Nürnberg Loewenichstraße 28 91054 Erlangen Germany
  • Jacob D. Morton - School of Earth Sciences University of Bristol Bristol BS8 1RJ UK
  • Baoyu Jiang - School of Earth Sciences & Engineering Nanjing University 163 Xianlin Avenue Qixia District Nanjing 210046 China

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 08 February 2018
  • Manuscript Accepted: 11 September 2017
  • Manuscript Received: 15 March 2017

Funded By

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. Grant Number: CHN 11/019

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library
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Abstract

Unresolved taxonomic issues regarding spinicaudatans, clam shrimps that formed the most abundant faunal element in the lacustrine Barremian to Aptian Yixian Formation, have hampered palaeoecological and evolutionary interpretations of this key fossil group. Here, we analyse morphological variability in East Asian clam‐shrimp taxa by quantifying: (1) size and shape; and (2) ornamental features (radial lirae distances). Intergeneric variability was examined using 51 specimens of various East Asian Mesozoic taxa, 16 of which were chosen for a taxonomic revision of the 10 species described from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning. Geometric morphometrics proved to be effective for the separation of genera, while the quantification of ornamental features was species‐diagnostic. Various authors have previously indicated the possibility that East Asian clam‐shrimp species have been split excessively, a criticism that has been confirmed by our analyses. According to our results, four of the ten species described from the Yixian Formation are valid, of which one might represent a junior synonym of Diestheria jeholensis; five taxon names represent junior synonyms of Eosestheria middendorfii (Jones), and one a nomen dubium. According to lirae distances and analysis of shape, Eosestheria fuxinensis, the original type species of Eosestheria, is synonymous with the type of Diestheria. Therefore, a new type species for Eosestheria is warranted and here fixed as E. middendorfii. This taxonomic revision questions the high level of clam‐shrimp diversity recognized within the Yixian Formation, and indicates that many of the species described in fact represent various ontogenetic stages of E. middendorfii.

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