RARE Burgess Shale Burgessochaeta Polychaete Worm

Burgessochaeta setigera

Phylum Annelida, Order Burgessochaetidae

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

Size: Fossil is 32 mm long (curve measure)

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

Burgessochaeta setigeraDescription: The Polychaeta (Bristleworms) can trace their ancestry back to the Cambrian Explosion. The segmented bodies of the Polychaeta have paired lobes called parapodia which have a function in locomotion or respiration. The parapodia bear numerous bristles which are the source of the name of the class (Polychaeta Burgessochaetameans many bristles). Modern members of the family prey upon sponges; perhaps this one did as well . This one is a species of Burgessochaeta, known as Burgessochaeta setigera. It is not related to any extant bristleworms, and as such has been assigned its own family: Burgessochaetidae. This polychaete makes up about 1 percent of Burgess specimens, while intact specimens such as this are far more rare.

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Burgess Shale Burgessochaeta Polychaete Worm

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