Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis ›› 2021, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (2): 390-394.DOI: 10.13209/j.0479-8023.2020.118

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Musculature of Cambrian Fossil Embryo Markuelia

LIU Teng1, DUAN Baichuan2, LIU Jianbo1, DONG Xiping1,†   

  1. 1. School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871 2. Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Metallogeny, First Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resource, Qingdao 266061
  • Received:2020-02-05 Revised:2020-03-14 Online:2021-03-20 Published:2021-03-20
  • Contact: DONG Xiping, E-mail: dongxp(at)


刘腾1, 段佰川2, 刘建波1, 董熙平1,†   

  1. 1. 北京大学地球与空间科学学院, 北京 100871 2. 自然资源部第一海洋研究所海洋地质与成矿作用重点实验室, 青岛 266061
  • 通讯作者: 董熙平, E-mail: dongxp(at)
  • 基金资助:
    国家自然科学基金(41372015, 41406057)资助


The authors used synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) to study fossil embryos of M. hunanensis from the Wangcun Lagerst?tte. The studied specimen shows the preservation of palisade-shaped structures underneath the cuticle of the head and tail. The 3D reconstruction of these structures reveals that the palisade-shaped structures are ring-like in shape with bilaterally symmetrical elongation on both sides. We interpreted the palisade-shaped structures as possible musculatures of the pharynx in the head and at the base of the spines in the tail, respectively. Further investigation of the musculatures suggests that these animals may have been small benthic species that live between crevices in the soft sediment, and may be active predators.

Key words: fossil embryos, soft-part anatomy, musculature, Markuelia, Cambrian


利用同步加速器辐射X射线断层显微技术(SRXTM), 研究湖南省王村化石库的化石胚胎Markuelia hunanensis。所研究的标本保存了头部和尾部表皮下的栅栏状结构, 对这些结构进行三维重建后, 发现栅栏结构为环形, 呈两侧对称状排列。将头部和尾部的栅栏结构分别解释为可能的咽部和尾刺基部的肌肉组织。对可能的肌肉组织结构的进一步研究表明, Markuelia hunanensis最早的胚后阶段可能是小型底栖动物, 生活在泥砂缝隙之间, 并且可能是活跃的捕食者。

关键词: 化石胚胎, 软组织解剖学, 肌肉组织, Markuelia, 寒武纪