Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 142, 83-902 (2005)
Oldest shrimp and associated phyllocarid from the Lower Devonian of northern Russia

Dzik, J.*, Ivantsov, A.Y. & Deulin, Y.V.
*Instytut Paleobiologii PAN, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warszawa, Poland. e-mail: dzik@twarda.pan.pl

Abstract: A mass occurrence of schooling, weakly sclerotized eocaridid shrimps in the Early Devonian pelagic environment of northern Russia suggests that the body-plan of the Eumalacostraca originated as an adaptation to swimming in the open sea. They probably replaced their ecological analogues, the archaeostracan phyllocarids Caryocaris, as a consequence of the rebuilding of the global marine environment during the later Ordovician. This may explain the rarity of the eumalacostracans in the Devonian and the difficulty with documenting their links with the archaeostracans. The new eocaridid shows similarities to the Carboniferous Anthracophausia in the general appearance and weak sclerotization of the carapace and appendages, but lacks its derived characters. The morphology of the pleural lobes, which have minute spines, is the only identified distinguishing character of the proposed new genus and species Archangeliphausia spinosa gen. et sp. nov. Its carapace was probably firmly connected dorsally with the thoracic segments. The only associated fossils of the assemblage represent a bizarre archaeostracan Pechoracaris aculicauda gen. et sp. nov., with a weakly sclerotized carapace lacking any hinge or rostral plates but with reduced furca, an extremely long caudal spine and pleopods transformed into spines.