Article: Ontogeny and heterochrony in the Early Cambrian oryctocephalid trilobites Changaspis, Duyunaspis and Balangia from China
Ontogenies are described for the first time for three species of Early Cambrian oryctocephalid trilobites: the oryctocephaline Changaspis elongata Lee, in Chien and the oryctocarines Duyunaspis duyunensis Chang and Chien, in Zhou et al. and Balangia balangensis Chien from the Balang Formation in eastern Ghuizhou Province, south-west China. The complete protaspid to holaspid ontogeny for Duyunaspis duyunensis and incomplete meraspid to holaspid ontogenies for Changaspis elongata and Balangia balangensis are described. The relative degree of ontogenetic variation within the lineage Duyunaspis duyunensis-Balangia balangensis is analysed and indicates that Balangia may have evolved from Duyunaspis by paedomorphosis. Decrease in thoracic segment number and concomitant increase in pygidial segment number in the later genus mirrors the pattern seen in the evolution of another oryctocephalid genus, Arthricocephalus. In both cases, selection was probably targeting an increase in cephalic convexity. This resulted in the evolution of a larger pygidium due to increased elevation of the axis above the substrate. The ontogenetic development of Changaspis provides evidence supporting the view that the Oryctocarinae may be considered as paedomorphic descendants of the Oryctocephalinae.