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]

Temporal range: Cambrian Stage 3–Middle Cambrian
Leanchoilia superlata study 2.jpg
Leanchoilia superlata
Leanchoilia superlata study.jpg
Reconstruction of Leanchoilia superlata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Megacheira
Order: Leanchoilida
Størmer, 1944
Family: Leanchoiliidae
Raymond, 1935
Genus: Leanchoilia
Walcott, 1912

Leanchoilia superlata Walcott, 1912 (type)
Leanchoilia illecebrosa (Hou, 1987)
Leanchoilia obesa He et al., 2017
Leanchoilia persephone Simonetta, 1970
Leanchoilia protogonia Simonetta, 1970
Leanchoilia robisoni Babcock et al., 2012
Leanchoilia? hanceyi Briggs et al., 2008
(but see text)

Restoration of Leanchoilia superlata

Seven species are tentatively accepted today: L. superlata (the type species), L. persephone and L. protogonia from the Burgess Shale, L. illecebrosa and L. obesa from the Chengjiang biota, ''L. robisoni from Kaili, and L.? hanceyi from the Spence Shale. L. superlata and L. persephone may however be examples of sexual dimorphism.[4][5][6] 55 specimens of Leanchoilia are known from the Greater Phyllopod bed, where they comprise 0.1% of the community.[7]


  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. ^ Liu, Yu; Hou, Xian-Guang; Bergström, J. (2007). "Chengjiang arthropod Leanchoilia illecebrosa (Hou, 1987) reconsidered". GFF. 129 (3): 263–272. doi:10.1080/11035890701293263.
  6. ^ He, Yu-Yang; Cong, Pei-Yun; Liu, Yu; Edgecombe, Gregory D.; Hou, Xian-Guang (2017). "Telson morphology of Leanchoiliidae (Arthropoda: Megacheira) highlighted by a new Leanchoilia from the Cambrian Chengjiang biota". Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. 41 (4): 581–589. doi:10.1080/03115518.2017.1320425.
  7. ^ 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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