[Taxacom] Cambrian problematic "genus" Opabinia (my larval hypothesis)

Mario Schädel mario.schaedel at gmail.com
Wed Apr 28 08:28:53 CDT 2021

Dear Kenneth,

first of all I would like to point you towards this preprint: 

Second, I would like to express my concerns regarding your hypothesis. 
In order to be a likely hypothesis, your hypothesis should be able to 
explain how such a dramatic morphological change can happen. Assuming 
your hypothesis to be true, one would assume to find homologous 
structures in the larva and the adult. In Anomalocaris the large 
anterior appendages consist of multiple elements. Yet, in Opabinia there 
seems to be no trace of individual elements. Maybe you should contact 
the authors of the preprint, that I've put above and ask them, if they 
have seen structures that would support your hypothesis.

Best wishes,


On 4/28/21 2:11 PM, Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom wrote:
> Hi All,
>         I was reading a 2015 article about "genus" Opabinia by Derek Briggs, but it seems to be a commentary and summary about the history of research on Opabinia, rather than offering any new information.  I wonder if there is anything published more recently.
>         After 20 years, I still believe that Opabinia is likely a synonym of Anomalocaris--- either a larval form of Anomalocaris or possibly a dwarf male of Anomalocaris.  I think my larval hypothesis is most likely, since the largest Opabinia is around the same size as the smallest Anomalocaris (about 3 inches).  During metamorphosis, the long "proboscis" of Opabinia would have simply split into the two frontal appendages of Anomalocaris.  It may still sound far-fetched, but worth considering.
>                               ---------Ken Kinman
> Weblink to Briggs 2015 artucke:    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2014.0313
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PhD Student
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Munich, Germany

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