Burgess Shale Burgessia bella Arthropod

Burgessia bella

Phylum Arthropoda, Order Bugessiidae

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

Size: Fossil is 20 mm long; Carapace: 8 mm long X 6 mm wide on a 34 mm by 55 mm matrix

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

Description: Bugessia bella derives its genus name from the location that also lent it name to this spectacular window on early life. It was presumably a benthicBurgessia 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 entral gut, complete telson, and partial legs seen extending from 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. 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. Only specimens such as this one from an old collection are available.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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