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Temporal range: Cambrian Stage 3–Middle Cambrian
Possible Silurian and Devonian records
Forfexicaris, Ovalicephalus, Occacaris
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Clade: Arachnomorpha
Class: Megacheira
Hou and Bergstrom, 1997

Megacheira ("Great Hands") is an extinct class of predatory arthropods that possessed a pair of short enlarged appendages[1] (the source of the class' name). They strongly resemble early chelicerates.[2][3][4] Most of them were found in marine environments throughout the world from the lower to middle Cambrian. The group might also contain one species (Enalikter aphson) described from the Silurian Herefordshire Lagerstätte of the United Kingdom, and one species (Bundenbachiellus giganteus) known from the Early Devonian of Germany;[5][6] however, the interpretation of these taxa as megacheirans was challenged by Struck et al. (2015).[7] Megacheirans were important components of several faunas, including the Burgess, Wheeler and Maotianshan Shales Lagerstatten. Genera referred to the class include Leanchoilia, Alalcomenaeus, Oestokerkus, Yohoia, Fortiforceps and Jianfengia.

Life reconstruction of Yawunik kootenayi

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Stein, Martin (March 2010) [26 February 2010]. "A new arthropod from the Early Cambrian of North Greenland, with a 'great appendage'-like antennula". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 158 (3): 477–500. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2009.00562.x. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ Stolte, Daniel (16 October 2013). "Extinct 'Mega Claw' Creature Had Spider-Like Brain". University of Arizona. 
  3. ^ "Extinct 'mega claw' creature had spider-like brain" (Press release). ScienceDaily. 16 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Tanaka, Gengo; Hou, Xianguang; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Strausfeld, Nicholas J. (17 October 2013). "Chelicerate neural ground pattern in a Cambrian great appendage arthropod". Nature. 502 (7471): 364–367. doi:10.1038/nature12520. PMID 24132294. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Siveter, Derek J.; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Siveter, David J.; Sutton, Mark D.; Legg, David; Joomun, Sarah (7 March 2014). "A Silurian short-great-appendage arthropod". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 281 (1778): 20132986. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.2986. PMC 3906945Freely accessible. PMID 24452026. 
  6. ^ Derek J. Siveter; Derek E. G. Briggs; David J. Siveter; Mark D. Sutton; David Legg; Sarah Joomun (2015). "Enalikter aphson is an arthropod: a reply to Struck et al. (2014)". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 282 (1804): 20142663. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.2663. 
  7. ^ Torsten H. Struck; Carolin Haug; Gerhard Haszprunar; Nikola-Michael Prpic; Joachim T. Haug (2015). "Enalikter aphson is more likely an annelid than an arthropod: a comment to Siveter et al. (2014)". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 282 (1804): 20140946. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0946. PMC 4375853Freely accessible. PMID 25716792.