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Temporal range: Cambrian Stage 3–Middle Cambrian
Leanchoilia superlata study 2.jpg
Leanchoilia superlata
Leanchoilia superlata study.jpg
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 obesa He et al.
Leanchoilia persephone Simonetta
(but see text)


Leanchoilia is an megacheiran arthropod known from Cambrian deposits of the Burgess Shale in Canada and the Chengjiang biota of China.[1] 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.[2][3]

Three species are tentatively accepted today: the type species L. superlata, L. obesa and the recently revalidated L. persephone. They may however be examples of sexual dimorphism.[4] 55 specimens of Leanchoilia are known from the Greater Phyllopod bed, where they comprise 0.1% of the community.[5]


  1. ^ "Burgess Shale: Leanchoilia superlata (an arthropod)". Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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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