Named By: Graham E. Budd - 1993.
Classification: Arthropoda, Dinocaridida, Radiodonta, Anomalocarididae.
Species: K. kierkegaardi (type).
Size: Approximately 60-65 millimetres long.
Known locations: Greenland - Sirius Passet.
Time period: Botomian of the Cambrian.
Fossil representation: Several specimens.
was an aquatic arthropod of the Cambrian that is thought to be related
to the larger Anomalocaris,
hence the placement of Kerygmachela
within the Anomalocarididae.
The type species name, K.
kierkegaardi, is in honour of Soren Kierkegaard, a
Kerygmachela had eleven pairs of lateral lobes, out growths that extended from the sides of the main body that appear to have been used for swimming. Although not an especially fast swimmer, Kerygmachela was probably still fast enough to catch its preferred prey items. Like the aforementioned Anomalocaris, Kerygmachela had two frontal limbs, although they appear to have curved to the sides to form a large pincer rather than downwards. These limbs also seem to have large spines that would have been capable of skewering soft bodied prey animals. The mouth of Kerygmachela was between these two limbs so it probably ate as it held its prey in its limbs.
Kerygmachela had two rearward pointing cerci that were easily as long as the main body itself, perhaps longer. Cerci can serve a variety of different functions, but the long, thin and straight shape of the cerci of Kerygmachela may point to possibly a sensory function, although it really is impossible to say for certain.
Another similar arthropod that has also been found in the same area as Kerygmachela is Pambdelurion, although it appears to have had quite a different lifestyle.
- A Cambrian gilled lobopod from Greenland - Nature 364 (6439): 709 - Graham E. Budd - 1993.
- The morphology and phylogenetic significance of Kerygmachela kierkegaardi Budd (Buen Formation, Lower Cambrian, N Greenland) - Transactions-Royal Society of Edinburgh 89: 249–290 - Graham E. Budd - 1999.