Palaeontology and Phylogeny



Millions of years before arthropods had succeeded in colonizing the land, the primaeval oceans were teeming with them. They, in turn, had probably evolved from segmented, worm-like ancestors, similar to today’s polychaete annelids; but fossil evidence of this is lacking. Trilobites and Crustacea are known from the Cambrian period, Eurypterida from the Ordovician, Diplopoda from the Devonian or possibly earlier, Collembola and probably Insecta also from the Devonian. Myriapods, Collembola, and Insecta are probably descended from an onychophoran-like ancestor. The mid-Cambrian Aysheaia pedunculata (found in British Columbia in a marine deposit, along with polychaetes, trilobites, holothurians etc.) may have been such an animal, but other interpretations of it have also been made.


Lower Devonian Terrestrial Arthropod Arthropod Group Spiral Cleavage Rhynie Chert 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further Reading

  1. Almond JE (1985) The Silurian — Devonian fossil record of the Myriapoda. Phil Trans R Soc (B) 309:227–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson DT (1973) Embryology and phylogeny of Annelids and Arthropods. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Briggs DEG, Plint AG, Pickerill RK (1984) Arthropleura trails from the Westphalian of Eastern Canada. Palaeontology 24:843–855Google Scholar
  4. Clarke KU (1973) The biology of the Arthropoda. Edward Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Gupta AP (ed) (1979) Arthropod phylogeny. Van Nostrand Rheinhold, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Kevan PG, Chaloner WG, Saville DBO (1975) Interrelationships of early terrestrial arthropods and plants. Palaeontology 18:391–417Google Scholar
  7. Manton SM (1964) Mandibular mechanisms and the evolution of the arthropods. Phil Trans R Soc (B) 247:1–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Manton SM (1977) The Arthropoda. Habits, functional morphology and evolution. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Paulus HF (1979) Eye structure and monophyly in the Arthropoda. In: Gupta AP (ed) Arthropod phylogeny. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 299–383Google Scholar
  10. Wolfe WDI (1980) Early invertebrate terrestrial faunas. In: Panchen AL (ed) The terrestrial environment and the origin of land vertebrates. Academic Press, London New York (Systematics Association Special Volume No. 15, pp 117–157)Google Scholar
  11. Rolfe WDI (1982) Ancient air breathers. Field Mus Nat Hist Bull 53:12–16Google Scholar
  12. Shear WA, Seldon PA (1986) Phylogenetic relationships of the Trigonotarbida, an extinct order of arachnids. Actas Congr Int Arachnol Jaca España 1986, 1:393–397Google Scholar
  13. Shear WA, Bonamo PM, Grierson JD, Rolfe WDI, Smith EL, Norton RA (1984) Early land animals in North America: evidence from Devonian age arthropods from Gilboa, New York. Science 224:492–494PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Whittington HB (1979) Early arthropods, their appendages and relationships. In: House MR (ed) The origin of major invertebrate groups. Academic Press, London New York (Systematics Association Special Volume No. 12, pp 253–268)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology (Medawar Building), University CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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