The lobes and lobopods of Opabinia regalis from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale
Budd GE., Daley AC.
Despite many papers devoted to it, the morphology of the Burgess Shale animal Opabinia regalis continues to excite controversy. In particular, the trunk region remains incompletely understood, leading to several recent attempts to interpret the fossil in radically different ways. New material of Opabinia from the Royal Ontario Museum and the Smithsonian collection, together with the recent description of comparative material of the Burgess Shale anomalocaridid Hurdia, help clarify details of its morphology, in particular with regards to the lateral lobes and setal blades. A recent reconstruction of the trunk lobes is rejected, and further evidence for the presence of trunk limbs is presented. Despite disagreements over its morphology, the phylogenetic placement of Opabinia is now relatively uncontroversial, although various derived aspects of its morphology complicate placing it precisely. □Biramous limb, Burgess Shale, exceptional preservation, Opabinia regalis. © 2011 The Authors, Lethaia © 2011 The Lethaia Foundation.