Brood care in a Silurian ostracod

Proc Biol Sci. 2007 Feb 22;274(1609):465-9. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3756.


An exceptionally preserved new ostracod crustacean from the Silurian of Herefordshire, England, preserves eggs and possible juveniles within its carapace, providing an unequivocal and unique view of parental brood care in the invertebrate fossil record. The female fossil is assigned to a new family and superfamily of myodocopids based on its soft-part anatomy. It demonstrates a remarkably conserved egg-brooding reproductive strategy within these ostracods over 425 Myr. The soft-tissue anatomy urges extreme caution in classifying 'straight-hinged' Palaeozoic ostracods based on the carapace alone and fundamentally questions the nature of the shell-based Palaeozoic ostracod record.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Crustacea / anatomy & histology
  • Crustacea / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fossils*