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Helcionelloida (Helcionelloids)

      The Helcionellids are fossil shells of very small marine mollusks that are preserved as shells. These animals are first found about 540 to 530 million years ago in the late Nemakit-Daldynian age, which is the earliest part of the Cambrian period. A single species persisted to the Early Ordovician. These fossils are component of the small shelly fossils (SSF) assemblages. These are thought to be early molluscs with rather snail-like shells. They may be the ancestors of the modern conchiferans, a group that includes all the well-known modern families gastropods, cephalopods and bivalves. Shelled molluscs therefore predate the earliest fossil trilobites. They have also been considered to represent direct ancestors to the cephalopods. Parkhaev (2006, 2007) considers these animals to be crown-group gastropods. Previous to the 2006 classification by Parkhaev, helcionellids were classified within the separate class Helcionelloida or as "Uncertain position (Gastropoda or Monoplacophora)" within "Paleozoic molluscs of uncertain systematic position" according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi, 2005

A reconstruction of helcionellid
Helcionella M1236
Helcionellafoto M1235
Helcionella M1234

Virtual museum of the Czech Geological Survey,, (C) Czech Geological Survey, 2011, v.0.99 [13.12.2011]