1932

Abstract

Phylogenomics underpins a stable and mostly well-resolved hypothesis for the interrelationships of extant arthropods. Exceptionally preserved fossils are integrated into this framework by coding their morphological characters, as exemplified by total-evidence dating approaches that treat fossils as dated tips in analyses numerically dominated by molecular data. Cambrian fossils inform on the sequence of character acquisition in the arthropod stem group and in the stems of its main extant clades. The arthropod head problem incorporates unique appendage combinations and remains of the nervous system in fossils into a scheme mostly based on neuroanatomy and Hox expression domains for extant forms. Molecular estimates of arthropod origins in the Cryogenian or Ediacaran predate a coherent picture from the arthropod fossil record, which commences as trace fossils in the earliest Cambrian. Probabilistic morphological clock analysis of trilobites, which exemplify the earliest arthropod body fossils, supports a Cambrian origin, without the need to posit an unfossilized Ediacaran history.

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2020-11-02
2024-06-24
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