The first systematic description of Cambrian fossils from Myanmar: Late Furongian trilobites from the southern part of the Shan State and the early Palaeozoic palaeogeographical affinities of Sibumasu

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Asian Earth Sciences


The existence of late Cambrian (Furongian) trilobites in Myanmar (Burma) has been acknowledged since the 1970s, but no formal systematic descriptions of such fossils have been published to date. Herein, we provide such descriptions of some trilobites from the Molohein Group's Myet-Ye Formation from the Linwe area, Ye-Ngan Township of the southern Shan State. Three species from two genera are reported: Asioptychaspis (A. asiatica, previously known from the North China Block, and a new species, A. lata) and Eosaukia buravasi, also known from peninsular Thailand. The Molohein Group was initially assigned a late Cambrian age based on the reported, but unsubstantiated, occurrence of the Laurentian genera Saukiella and Drumaspis, and this age assessment is supported by the fauna we present, although Saukiella or Drumaspis remain unconfirmed from Myanmar. Asioptychaspis asiatica first appears in late Jiangshanian strata, and Eosaukia buravasi ranges up to the middle of Stage 10. Thus these ranges provide a more specific constraint on the age of the Molohein Group. Similarities are strong between upper Cambrian and Lower Ordovician successions in Sibumasu and northwestern Australia, particularly those from the Canning Basin succession. Regional geological data supports placement of Sibumasu adjacent to Western Australia during the Cambrian, without the Lhasa Block intervening between them, and Baoshan at the western end of Sibumasu during the early Paleozoic, towards the Himalayan margin. The new Burmese fauna is consistent with these suggestions, as they belong to the Sino-Australian faunal province.



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Open Access, Bronze, Green

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