Odaraia alata, an arthropod from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada - ROM2006_8107_4

Burgess Shale fossil, Odaraia alata
ROM2006_8107_4

Odaraia alata, an arthropod from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada

Dimensions:
Fossil: 15 (L) x 6 (W) cm
Taxonomy
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumArthropoda
    • ClassUnranked clade (stem group arthropods)
    • GenusOdaraia
    • SpecificEpithetalata
Object number: ROMIP65124B-57602
Not on view
DescriptionOdaraia is a fairly rare arthropod from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale. This specimen was recovered in the Walcott Quarry. It has a pair of very large eyes at the front, and a pair of carapaces which enclosed numerous limbs. Odaraia was an active swimmer. Its flexible tail was about half the length of its body, and terminated with three blades which would have been helpful for steering. Due to the unique morphology of its carapace, it is likely that the animal swam on its back with the limbs generating most of the moving power. This image illustrates what Odaraia would have looked like while swimming, with its eyes pointing towards the surface. The gut of this particular specimen is very well preserved and is represented by the dark area along the length of its body (especially clear in the trunk). A small specimen of another arthropod Marrella splendens is visible at the bottom right corner of the picture.
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