Cambrian Explosion Branchiocaris Phyllocarid Museum Fossil

with Superb Soft Tissue Preservation

Branchiocaris sp

Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Subclass Phyllocaridae

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is overall: 42 mm long Shell: 25 mm long by 18 mm across, on a 125 mm by 125 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Wheeler Shale, Millard County, Utah

Fossil Code: JH47

Price: $2995.00


BranchiocarisDescription: his unusual Phyllocarid arthropod is known as Branchiocaris . Phyllocarids are one of the lesser known branchiopod crustaceans from the Cambrian where they are among the earliest animals with a hard shell. They have a fairly large carapace, which protects the anterior part of the body. This structure hinged along the dorsal edge like a bivalve.Usually only the carapace is found, but in this particular case much soft tissue preservation occurred. Branchiocaris Phyllocaridahas been placed by some as a near relative of Marella of the Burgess Shale, an assignment not agreed to by all researchers. The taxon is also known from the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, while another member of the genus has been found in the Chengjiang Biota. I have included a color negative which better shows off the eyes and segmented abdomen.

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