505 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
More than a hundred years of extensive and intensive investigations into dozens of fossil treasure-troves spanning the Cambrian-Precambrian boundary across the world have resulted in a series of major achievements. In particular, study of the early Cambrian Chenjiang fauna now allows us to see not only the framework of animal evolution, including the three major bilaterian groups (respectively the deuterostomes, ecdysozoans and lophotrochozoans), but also in particular the earliest fish as well as their more remote ancestors amongst the invertebrates.
Nearly all articles in this selection, except for the last one, result from investigations of the Chenjiang fauna, which is particularly important because of its rich diversity of early deuterostomes. Part one deals with the nature of the Cambrian Explosion. Part Two comprises the core of the book. Here are reported, chiefly from papers in Nature and Science, examples of the earliest representatives of the five major living groups as well as an extinct phylum belonging to the Deuterostomia. Part three documents some of the mayor groups amongst the ecdysozoans and lophotrochozoans.
Part One Nature of Cambrian Explosion
1. Cambrian Explosion: Birth of Tree of Animals
2. Birth and Early Evolution of Metazoans
Part Two Subkingdom Deuterostomia
3. Lower Cambrian Vertebrates from South China
4. Catching the First Fish
5. Head and Backbone of the Early Cambrian Vertebrate Haikouichthys
5. A Paleontological Perspective of Vertebrate Origin
7. Primitive Deuterostomes from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte (Lower Cambrian,China)
8. On Being Vetulicolian
9. A Pipiscid-like Fossil from the Lower Cambrian of South China
10. On the Phylum Vetulicolia
11. Deuterostome Evolution
12. Evidence for Gill Slits and a Pharynx in Cambrian Vetulicolians: Implications for the Early Evolution of Deuterostomes
13. The Earliest History of the Deuterostomes: the Importance of the Chengjiang Fossil-Lagerstätte
14. Ancestral Echinoderms from the Chengjiang Deposits of China
15. Echinoderm Roots
16. An Early Cambrian Tunicate from China
17. A Pikaia-like Chordate from the Lower Cambrian of China
18. Reinterpretation of Yunnanozoon as the Earliest Known Hemichordate
19. A New Species of Yunnanozoan with Implications for Deuterostome Evolution
20. Response to Comment on "A New Species of Yunnanozoan with Implications for Deuterostome Evolution"
Part Three Subkingdom Protostomia
21. Redlichiacean Trilobites with Preserved Soft-parts from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang Fauna (South China) (Excerpt)
22. Reconsideration of the Supposed Naraoiid Larva from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, South China
23. Anatomy and Systematic Affinities of the Lower Cambrian Bivalved Arthropod Isoxys auritus
24. A Venomous Arthropod in the Early Cambrian Sea
25. Cambrian Palaeobiogeography of Bradoriida
25. Anatomy and Lifestyle of Kunmingella (Arthropoda, Bradoriida) from the Chengiiang Fossil Lagerstätte (Lower Cambrian: Southwest China)
27. A Rare Lobopod with Well-preserved Eyes from Chengjiang Lagerstätte and Its Implications for Origin of Arthropods
28. An Armoured Cambrian Lobopodian from China with Arthropod-like Appendages
29. Cambrian Lobopodians and Extant Onychophorans Provide New Insights into Early Cephalization in Panarthropoda
30. The Earliest-known Ancestors of Recent Priapulomorpha from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte
31. Soft-tissue Preservation in the Lower Cambrian Linguloid Brachiopod from South China
32. Rhynchonelliformean Brachiopods with Soft-tissue Preservation from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte of South China
33. A Sclerite-bearing Stem Group Entoproct from the Early Cambrian and Its Implications
Part Four Basic Animals
34. Lower Cambrian Vendobionts from China and Early Diploblast Evolution
35. Early Cambrian Pentamerous Cubozoan Embryos from South China
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Professor Degan Shu received his undergraduate training in Paleontology at Peking (Beijing) University in 1964-1969, Master degree in Northwest University (Xi'an) and Ph. D in China University of Geosciences (Beijing); as visiting scholar at the Smithsonian Institution,Washington, D.C., USA in 1988, Humboldt research fellow in University of Bonn in 1988-1989 and in University of Würzburg, Germany in 1994-1995, visiting scholar in Cambridge University, UK in 1998, was elected as an academician of Chinese Academy of'Sciences in 2011.
His research mainly focuses on the evolution of early deuterostomes and Cambrian Explosion. He discovered "the First Fish" Myllokunmingiida in life history, erected the extinct Phylum Vetulicolia, first proposed the concept of hypothesis "Cambrian Explosion as the unique three-episode event to create the Tree of Animals" in 2008. As a recipient of National First Grade Award of Natural Sciences, he has authored a dozen of publications in Nature and Science.