Internal Microanatomy and Zoological Affinity of the Early Cambrian Olivooides

Han Jian, Li Guoxiang, Kubota Shin, Ou Qiang, Toshino Sho, Wang Xing, Yang Xiaoguang, Uesugi Kentaro, Masato Hoshino, Sasaki Osamu, Kano Harumasa, Sato Tomohiko, Komiya Tsuyoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The early Cambrian pentamerous microfossil Olivooides/Punctatus in South China, which is characterized by a diagnostic stellate tubular apex, has been well-known for its almost complete development sequence that can be confidently traced from embryos and hatched juveniles, to conical adults. However, its zoological affinity remains highly controversial. Here we describe the internal microanatomic structures of the soft-body inside the peridermal theca of Olivooides multisulcatus Qian, 1977, including interradial pairs of tentacles, adradial and perradial fremila, perradial oral marginal lappets and twins of perradial gastric saccule-like humps as well as a circular velarium with striated coronal muscles. Particularly, one specimen shows bifurcated velarial canals along the bell aperture. Both the components of the soft-body and the external theca (or cyst) are arranged in perfect pentaradial symmetry. These characteristics are more compatible with those of living cubomedusans and co-occurring Cambrian athecate embryonic cubozoans. Concerning the presence of peridermal theca, Olivooides most likely represents an extinct thecate stem-group cubomedusae but devoid of both perradial eyes and specialized pedalia. The well-grown soft body inside the peridermal tube displays a set of mixed features of both polyp and medusa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-65
Number of pages28
JournalActa Geologica Sinica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryos
  • Kuanchuanpu Formation
  • cnidarians
  • cubozoan
  • early Cambrian
  • periderm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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