Mazon Creek Polychaete Worm Pieckonia helenae

Name: Pieckonia helenae

Phylum: Annelida; Class Polychaeta

Geological Time: Pennsylvanian (~300 m.y.a.)

Size: 42 mm long on a 48 mm by 60 mm and 47 mm by 33 mm nodule pair

Fossil Site: Mazon Creek, Pit 11, Francis Creek shale, Braidwood, Illinois

Pieckonia helenaeThe Polychaeta (Bristleworms) have a diverse representation among Mazon Creek fossils. The segmented bodies of the Polychaeta have paired lobes called parapodia that have a function in locomotion or respiration. The parapodia have numerous bristles that are the source of the name of the class (Polychaeta means many bristles). This one is thought to have been a predatory species, as are many modern-day bristleworms, due to the fact that some have been found with the remains of Ostacods in the gut. This fossil worm comes from an old collection that has the field collector’s inventory number.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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