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Temporal range: Cambrian Stage 3–Middle Cambrian
Fossil specimen
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Megacheira
Order: Leanchoilida
Størmer, 1944
Family: Leanchoiliidae
Raymond, 1935
Genus: Leanchoilia
Walcott, 1912

Leanchoilia superlata (type)
Leanchoilia persephone Simonetta
(but see text)

Leanchoilia is a four-eyed arachnomorph arthropod known from Cambrian deposits of the Burgess Shale in Canada and the Chengjiang biota of China. It was about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long and had long, whip-like feelers mounted on frontal arm-like appendages. Its internal organs are occasionally preserved within the substrate in three dimensions.[1] It had stalked compound eyes as well as pit-like ocelli.[2]

Restorations of L. superlata

Two species are tentatively accepted today: the type species L. superlata and the recently revalidated L. persephone. They may however be examples of sexual dimorphism.[3] 55 specimens of Leanchoilia are known from the Greater Phyllopod bed, where they comprise 0.1% of the community.[4]


  1. ^ Nicholas J. Butterfield (2002). "Leanchoilia guts and the interpretation of three-dimensional structures in Burgess Shale-type fossils". Paleobiology. 28 (1): 155–171. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2002)028<0155:LGATIO>2.0.CO;2. 
  2. ^ Brigitte Schoenemann & Euan N. K. Clarkson (2012). "The eyes of Leanchoilia". Lethaia. 45 (4): 524–531. doi:10.1111/j.1502-3931.2012.00313.x. 
  3. ^ Diego C. García-Bellido & Desmond Collins (2007). "Reassessment of the genus Leanchoilia (Arthropoda, Arachnomorpha) from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada". Palaeontology. 50 (3): 693–709. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2007.00649.x. 
  4. ^ Caron, Jean-Bernard; Jackson, Donald A. (October 2006). "Taphonomy of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale". PALAIOS. 21 (5): 451–65. doi:10.2110/palo.2003.P05-070R. JSTOR 20173022. 

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