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Zhongjianichthys
''Zhongjianichthys rostratus'' is an extinct basal chordate that lived in the Cambrian period, approximately 518 million years ago. It is sometimes regarded as an early fish, and therefore as one of the first vertebrates. ''Zhongjianichthys'' is named after Zhongjian in China. Physical characteristics The eyes are located behind the antero-dorsal lobe and the mouth apparently did not have a jaw. It lacked scales, and had a thick skin. It is known to have had a thicker skin than other chordates at that time because, unlike ''Myllokunmingia,'' no impressions of its myomere Myomeres are blocks of skeletal muscle tissue arranged in sequence, commonly found in aquatic chordates. Myomeres are separated from adjacent myomeres by connective fascia (myosepta) and most easily seen in larval fishes or in the olm. Myomere ...s have been found. The ventral fin is low in height, and runs much of the body's length. Although ''Zhonjianichthys'' appears more advanced than its relatives d ...
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Cambrian Chordates
The Cambrian chordates are an extinct group of animals belonging to the phylum Chordata that lived during the Cambrian, between 485 and 538 million years ago. The first Cambrian chordate known is '' Pikaia gracilens'', a lancelet-like animal from the Burgess Shale in British Columbia, Canada. The discoverer, Charles Doolittle Walcott, described it as a kind of worm (annelid) in 1911, but was later realised to be a chordate. Since the discovery of other Cambrian fossils from the Burgess Shale in 1991, and from the Chengjiang biota of China in 1991, which were later found to be of chordates, several Cambrian chordates are known, with some fossils considered as putative chordates. The Cambrian chordates are characterised by the presence of segmented muscle blocks called myomeres and notochord, the two defining features of chordates. Before the full understanding of Cambrian fossils, chordates as members the most advanced phylum were believed to appear on Earth much later than the Ca ...
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Chordate
A chordate () is an animal of the phylum Chordata (). All chordates possess, at some point during their larval or adult stages, five synapomorphies, or primary physical characteristics, that distinguish them from all the other taxa. These five synapomorphies include a notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, endostyle or thyroid, pharyngeal slits, and a post-anal tail. The name “chordate” comes from the first of these synapomorphies, the notochord, which plays a significant role in chordate structure and movement. Chordates are also bilaterally symmetric, have a coelom, possess a circulatory system, and exhibit metameric segmentation. In addition to the morphological characteristics used to define chordates, analysis of genome sequences has identified two conserved signature indels (CSIs) in their proteins: cyclophilin-like protein and mitochondrial inner membrane protease ATP23, which are exclusively shared by all vertebrates, tunicates and cephalochordates. These CSIs pro ...
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Myllokunmingia
''Myllokunmingia'' is a genus of basal chordate from the Lower Cambrian Maotianshan shales of China 518 to 490 mya and is thought to be a vertebrate, although this is not conclusively proven. The species M. fengjiaoa is 28 mm long and 6 mm high. It is among the oldest possible craniates, found in the lower Cambrian Chengjiang (). It appears to have a skull and skeletal structures made of cartilage. There is no sign of biomineralization of the skeletal elements. The holotype was found in the Yuanshan member of the Qiongzhusi Formation in the Eoredlichia Zone near Haikou at Ercaicun, Kunming City, Yunnan, China. Only one species is known – ''Myllokunmingia fengjiaoa'' (Shu, Zhang & Han). Related creatures are '' Haikouichthys'' and '' Zhongjianichthys''. The animal has a distinct head and trunk with a forward sail-like (1.5 mm) dorsal fin and a ventral finfold (probably paired) further back. The maximum height of M. fengijaoa is at 6mm. The maximum height point ...
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Cambrian Stage 3
Cambrian Stage 3 is the still unnamed third stage of the Cambrian. It succeeds Cambrian Stage 2 and precedes Cambrian Stage 4, although neither its base nor top have been formally defined. The plan is for its lower boundary to correspond approximately to the first appearance of trilobites, about million years ago, though the globally asynchronous appearance of trilobites warrants the use of a separate, globally synchronous marker to define the base. The upper boundary and beginning of Cambrian Stage 4 is informally defined as the first appearance of the trilobite genera '' Olenellus'' or '' Redlichia'' around million years ago. Naming The International Commission on Stratigraphy has not officially named the 3rd stage of the Cambrian. The stage approximately corresponds to the "Atdabanian", which is used by geologists working in Siberia. Biostratigraphy The oldest trilobite known is '' Lemdadella'' which appears at the beginning of the ''Fallotaspis'' zone. The Cambrian radiati ...
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Cambrian
The Cambrian Period ( ; sometimes symbolized Ꞓ) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, and of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 53.4 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 538.8 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician Period mya. Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established as "Cambrian series" by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for 'Cymru' (Wales), where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. Sedgwick identified the layer as part of his task, along with Roderick Murchison, to subdivide the large "Transition Series", although the two geologists disagreed for a while on the appropriate categorization. The Cambrian is unique in its unusually high proportion of sedimentary deposits, sites of exceptional preservation where "soft" parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells. As a result, our understanding of the Cambrian bio ...
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Zhongjian
Triton Island (; ) is the westernmost and southernmost of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. It is located on the southwest corner of Triton Reef and has an area of above sea-level. The reef including the island measures about in area. The island is administered by the People's Republic of China, and is also claimed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam. The island was historically known by the Chinese as ''Bànlù Zhì'' (), and as ''Luó Dǎo'' () to Chinese fishermen. Other Chinese sources have it named as 南建岛, as it was the southernmost point claimed by China until after 1933. The current Chinese name commemorates the Republic of China Navy warship ''ROCS Chung-chien'' () sent in 1946 to claim the Paracel Islands.吕一燃 (Lu Yiran), 2007. 中国近代边界史 (A modern history of China's borders), Vol. 2. 四川人民出版社 (Sichuan People's Publishing), pp.1092-1093. History Lacking a native population, ownership of the Paracel Islands has b ...
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Myomere
Myomeres are blocks of skeletal muscle tissue arranged in sequence, commonly found in aquatic chordates. Myomeres are separated from adjacent myomeres by connective fascia (myosepta) and most easily seen in larval fishes or in the olm. Myomere counts are sometimes used for identifying specimens, since their number corresponds to the number of vertebrae in the adults. Location varies, with some species containing these only near the tails, while some have them located near the scapular or pelvic girdles. Depending on the species, myomeres could be arranged in an epaxial or hypaxial manner. Hypaxial refers to ventral muscles and related structures while epaxial refers to more dorsal muscles. The horizontal septum divides these two regions in vertebrates from cyclostomes to gnathostomes. In terrestrial chordates, the myomeres become fused as well as indistinct, due to the disappearance of myosepta. Shape The shape of myomeres varies by species. Myomeres are commonly zig-zag, " ...
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Convergent Evolution
Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different periods or epochs in time. Convergent evolution creates analogous structures that have similar form or function but were not present in the last common ancestor of those groups. The cladistic term for the same phenomenon is homoplasy. The recurrent evolution of flight is a classic example, as flying insects, birds, pterosaurs, and bats have independently evolved the useful capacity of flight. Functionally similar features that have arisen through convergent evolution are ''analogous'', whereas '' homologous'' structures or traits have a common origin but can have dissimilar functions. Bird, bat, and pterosaur wings are analogous structures, but their forelimbs are homologous, sharing an ancestral state despite serving different functions. The opposite of convergence is divergent evolution, where related species evolve different traits. Convergent evolution is similar to parallel ev ...
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Prehistoric Jawless Fish Genera
Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the beginning of recorded history with the invention of writing systems. The use of symbols, marks, and images appears very early among humans, but the earliest known writing systems appeared 5000 years ago. It took thousands of years for writing systems to be widely adopted, with writing spreading to almost all cultures by the 19th century. The end of prehistory therefore came at very different times in different places, and the term is less often used in discussing societies where prehistory ended relatively recently. In the early Bronze Age, Sumer in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley Civilisation, and ancient Egypt were the first civilizations to develop their own scripts and to keep historical records, with their neighbors following. Most other civilizations reached the end of prehistory during the following Iron Age. T ...
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Cambrian Fish
The Cambrian Period ( ; sometimes symbolized Ꞓ) was the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, and of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Cambrian lasted 53.4 million years from the end of the preceding Ediacaran Period 538.8 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Ordovician Period mya. Its subdivisions, and its base, are somewhat in flux. The period was established as "Cambrian series" by Adam Sedgwick, who named it after Cambria, the Latin name for 'Cymru' (Wales), where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed. Sedgwick identified the layer as part of his task, along with Roderick Murchison, to subdivide the large "Transition Series", although the two geologists disagreed for a while on the appropriate categorization. The Cambrian is unique in its unusually high proportion of sedimentary deposits, sites of exceptional preservation where "soft" parts of organisms are preserved as well as their more resistant shells. As a result, our understanding of the Cambrian biol ...
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Fossil Taxa Described In 2003
A fossil (from Classical Latin , ) is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, objects preserved in amber, hair, petrified wood and DNA remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the ''fossil record''. Paleontology is the study of fossils: their age, method of formation, and evolutionary significance. Specimens are usually considered to be fossils if they are over 10,000 years old. The oldest fossils are around 3.48 billion years old to 4.1 billion years old. Early edition, published online before print. The observation in the 19th century that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led to the recognition of a geological timescale and the relative ages of different fossils. The development of radiometric dating techniques in the early 20th century allowed scientists to quantitatively measure the absolut ...
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