Bizarre Burgess Shale Marrella splendens Double

Marella splendens

Phylum Arthropoda, Order Marrellomorpha

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Dorsal: 12 mm long X 4 mm wide Lateral: 15 mm long by 3 mm high on a 60 mm by 40 mm matrix

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

Fossil Code: AAF579

Price: Sold


MarellaDescription: Marella splendens was discovered by C.D. Walcott and given the informal foiled name of “lace crab”. The strange head shield possesses 2 pairs of large curving spines. While the anterior pair project out to the sides, the posterior pair extend rearwards the entire length of the body. The numerous body segments Marellapossess identical biramous appendages whose feathery filaments were involved in respiration. It was presumably a benthic organism that made a living swimming just above the seafloor. 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. The darkened spot extending from the posterior is the result of a stain due to leakage of body fluids as the specimens were preserved. What makes it most unusual is the fact that a p[air of specimens are seen on this plate: a dorsal example in the upper left and an uncommon lateral example to the lower right. Coming from the famous Burgess Shale Fauna, this is a highly-desirable member which will make a fine addition to any collection of Cambrian Explosion fossils. Given the current World Heritage status of the location, only specimens from old collections such as this are available.

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