Rarely-seen Burgess Shale Waptia

with Preserved Limbs and Eye

Waptia fieldensis

Phylum Arthropoda

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 52 mm long (curve measure) Shell: 18 mm long by 11 mm wide on a 70 mm by 90 mm matrix

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

Fossil Code: JH35

Price: $2195.00 - sold


Burgess Shale Waptia fieldensis Description: Waptia fieldensis is an unusual bivalved arthropod that comprises some 2.5% of the Burgess Shale specimens collected. While it is most assuredly an arthropod, it is as yet unclear as to its affinities. For more examples of the slightly older Chengjiang Biota, see my offerings from that locality. 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. Note the details seen here. The limbs are clearly evident. In Waptia, the functions of walking and oxygen exchange were separated, with the first four pairs of limbs carrying out locomotion while the last six pairs held the gills. Notice too the presence of the eye, readily seen in the close-up of the anterior region. This is by far the moist complete example I have been able to secure. Given the World Heritage status of the site, only specimens from old collection are available.

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