Spectacular Burgess Shale Burgessia Arthropod

Burgessia bella

Phylum Arthropoda, Order Bugessiidae

Geological Time: Early Cambrian (~520 million years ago)

Size: 16 mm long X 10 mm wide

Fossil Site: Burgess Shale Stephen Formation, Burgess Pass, British Columbia, Canada

Description: Bugessia bella derives its genus name from the location that also lent it name to this spectacularBurgessia bella Fossil Art window on early life and the Cambrian Explosion. It was presumably a benthic organism that made a living crawling on the seafloor. It falls within the arachnomrphs, and so is related to both the chelicerates and trilobites. Note the antenna, central gut, telson, and partial legs seen within the carapace. This wonderful example shows all the major features of the taxon in incredible detail for a specimen more than a half billion years of age.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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