The origin and evolution of arthropods

Nature. 2009 Feb 12;457(7231):812-7. doi: 10.1038/nature07890.


The past two decades have witnessed profound changes in our understanding of the evolution of arthropods. Many of these insights derive from the adoption of molecular methods by systematists and developmental biologists, prompting a radical reordering of the relationships among extant arthropod classes and their closest non-arthropod relatives, and shedding light on the developmental basis for the origins of key characteristics. A complementary source of data is the discovery of fossils from several spectacular Cambrian faunas. These fossils form well-characterized groupings, making the broad pattern of Cambrian arthropod systematics increasingly consensual.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthropods / anatomy & histology
  • Arthropods / classification*
  • Arthropods / physiology*
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Fossils
  • Phylogeny