Temporal range:
Odontogriphus from the Burgess Shale. From Smith (2014).[2]
Somewhat decayed fossil of Odontogriphus, showing 'radula' and gut. From Smith (2014)[2]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Superphylum: Lophotrochozoa
Family: Odontogriphidae
Conway Morris, 1976[1]
Genus: Odontogriphus
Conway Morris, 1976[1]
  • O. omalus Conway Morris, 1976[1]

Odontogriphus (from Greek: ὀδούς odoús, 'tooth' and Greek: γρῖφος grîphos, 'riddle') is a genus of soft-bodied animals known from middle Cambrian Lagerstätte. Reaching as much as 12.5 centimetres (4.9 in) in length, Odontogriphus is a flat, oval bilaterian which apparently had a single muscular foot and a "shell" on its back that was moderately rigid but of a material unsuited to fossilization.

Originally it was known from only one specimen, but 189 new finds in the years immediately preceding 2006 made a detailed description possible. (221 specimens of Odontogriphus are known from the Greater Phyllopod bed, where they comprise 0.42% of the community.[3]) As a result, Odontogriphus has become prominent in the debate that has gone on since 1990 about the evolutionary origins of molluscs, annelid worms and brachiopods. It is thought that Odontogriphus's feeding apparatus, which is "nearly identical" to Wiwaxia's, is an early version of the molluscan radula, a chitinous "tongue" that bears multiple rows of rasping teeth. Hence Odontogriphus and Wiwaxia are often classified as closely related to true molluscs.

  1. ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference ConwayMorris1976 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Smith2014 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Caron, Jean-Bernard; Jackson, Donald A. (October 2006). "Taphonomy of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale". PALAIOS. 21 (5): 451–65. Bibcode:2006Palai..21..451C. doi:10.2110/palo.2003.P05-070R. JSTOR 20173022. S2CID 53646959.

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