The Silurian-Devonian Fossil Record of the Myriapoda
The oldest recorded terrestrial invertebrates are various small Diplopods (millepedes) from the Lower Old Red Sandstone of Britain which were probably preserved preferentially due to their robust calcified exoskeleton. While the myriapod affinities and terrestrial habits of the earliest, pre-Pridoli, claims are highly questionable, true diplopods are known from the latest Silurian (Stonehaven Group) and Lower Devonian of Scotland. In addition, a variety of enigmatic myriapod-like arthropods occur sporadically in the late Silurian-Lower Devonian freshwater facies of the Midland Valley of Scotland and Welsh Borderlands. Among these, the kampecarids ss. constitute a discrete group of short-bodied, diplopodous uniramian arthropods, possibly with myriapod affinities and aquatic habits. In contrast to the diversity of chelicerate groups represented in the later terrestrial invertebrate faunas of Rhynie, Alken and Gilboa, the Middle to Upper Devonian fossil record of the Myriapoda is very sparse. While true diplopods are notably absent, a variety of fragmentary chilopods (centipedes) are now known from the Gilboa Fauna (Givetian) of New York State.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- April 1985