Primitive arthropod fossil

Primitive arthropod fossil

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Credit: ALAN SIRULNIKOFF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Primitive arthropod fossil from the 500 million- year-old Burgess Shale rocks. This is Marrella splendens, the most abundant of the Burgess Shale fossils. It is now extinct. It lived on the seabed and had two long antennae. One of these antennae is at lower right and the head is at lower centre. The multiple legs line the body which extends from the head towards centre right. This animal was a few centimetres in length. The Burgess Shale rocks of Canada's Rocky Mountains preserved soft tissue details rarely found in the fossil record. This allowed them to record the Cambrian Explosion, the evolution of a diverse array of invertebrates from which today's animals evolved.

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Keywords: ancient, animal, animals, antenna, antennae, arthropod, burgess shale, cambrian explosion, canada, canadian, early, extinct, fossil invertebrate, fossilised, fossilized, fossils, invertebrates, marine, marrella splendens, old, palaeontology, paleontology, rock

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