Anomalocaris canadensis fossil from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada - ROM2007_9581_7

Burgess Shale fossil, complete specimen of Anomalocaris canadensis, Raymond Quarry

Anomalocaris canadensis fossil from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada

Fossil: 20 (L) x 13 (W) cm
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumArthropoda
    • ClassDinocarida
    • OrderRadiodonta
    • GenusAnomalocaris
    • SpecificEpithetcanadensis
Object number: ROMIP51211B-64419
Not on view
DescriptionThis is the most complete specimen of Anomalocaris canadensis known to date, and it is one of the highlights of the ROM’s Burgess Shale collection. The two yellowish spots visible at the top of the image represent the eyes of this animal. It had one pair of articulated claws at the front of its body, and part of one claw can be seen just below the right eye. Lateral lobes are clearly visible along the sides of the body and are thought to have provided this ancient creature with strong swimming abilities. The posterior end of this specimen bears a fan like structure, which was potentially useful for controlling movements within the water. After decay, different elements of the body disarticulate - particularly the harder more resilient parts such as the jaws and claws. Consequently, finding a complete specimen like this one is extremely rare. Anomalocaris belongs to the dinocarida class, an extinct group of primitive arthropods living in the open ocean waters that existed in the early and Middle Cambrian (520-505 Ma). Anomalocaris is the largest of the dinocarids known to date, and it was probably a fast swimmer and an active predator or scavenger.
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