Burgessia bella from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada - ROM2006_8107_8

Burgess Shale fossil, Burgessia bella
ROM2006_8107_8

Burgessia bella from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada

Taxonomy
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumArthropoda
    • ClassUnranked clade (stem group arthropods)
    • GenusBurgessia
    • SpecificEpithetbella
Object number: ROMIP60758B-56639
Not on view
DescriptionPreserved laterally, this fossil represents the Middle Cambrian arthropod, Burgessia bella. From this view the distinguishable features are a long posterior spine and a single dorsal carapace with a few segmented legs below. A pair of slender antennae is also present, and one antenna has been prepared and is visible at the front of the specimen above the carapace. Burgessia only inhabited the Walcott Quarry and fossils of this species are very common in this locality with more than 2000 specimens collected by the ROM. Burgessia is entirely soft-bodied, and the carapace was probably relatively thin and flexible. It is unlikely that this ancient animal was a swimmer. It probably walked along the surface of the mud in search of food. There is no evidence of eyes, and the antennae were probably capable of detecting environmental changes.
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