From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Incertae sedis
Class: Coeloscleritophora
Included groups

The Coelosclerithophorans are a polyphyletic group of organisms bearing hollow sclerites made of aragonite, and with an allegedly distinctive microstructure.[1]

Their skeletons may be homologous to those of the molluscs,[2] and Halkieria looks very much like a polyplacophoran. The shells of this group and the molluscs appear to have originated in the same fashion.[2] However, there are several reasons to doubt this relationship,[3] many of which may not pass muster.[4]

There are two groups within the coeloscleritophorans: the Sachitids, to which Halkieria and Wiwaxia belong, and the Chancellorids. The Ediacaran fossil Ausia has been touted as an ancestral 'intermediate' between both of these groups.[5]

These are common constituents of Lower Cambrian small shelly fossil assemblages.


  1. ^ Porter, S. M. (2008). "Skeletal Microstructure Indicates Chancelloriids and Halkieriids Are Closely Related". Palaeontology. 51 (4): 865. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2008.00792.x. 
  2. ^ a b Bengtson, S. (1992). "The cap-shaped Cambrian fossil Maikhanella and the relationship between coeloscleritophorans and molluscs". Lethaia. 25 (4): 401–420. doi:10.1111/j.1502-3931.1992.tb01644.x. 
  3. ^ Yochelson, E. L. (1993). "Molluscan affinity of coeloscleritophorans". Lethaia. 26 (1): 47–48. doi:10.1111/j.1502-3931.1993.tb01509.x. 
  4. ^ Bengtson, S. (1993). "Molluscan affinity of coeloscleritophorans — reply". Lethaia. 26 (1): 48–48. doi:10.1111/j.1502-3931.1993.tb01510.x. 
  5. ^ Dzik, Jerzy (August 2009). "Possible Ediacaran Ancestry of the Halkieriids" (PDF). In Smith, Martin R.; O'Brien, Lorna J.; Caron, Jean-Bernard. Abstract Volume. International Conference on the Cambrian Explosion (Walcott 2009). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: The Burgess Shale Consortium (published 31 July 2009). ISBN 978-0-9812885-1-2.