SIMON TERREY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON TERREY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Extinct marine invertebrate. Computer artwork of Marrella splendens, a primitive arthropod that is now extinct. Its fossils are the most abundant in the 500 million-year-old Burgess Shale rocks found in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. An avalanche of fine mud created these rocks and preserved soft tissue details rarely found in the fossil record. It also recorded a wide variety of newly evolved body shapes known as the Cambrian Explosion. Many of these body shapes survive today, and Marrella could be an early ancestor of crustaceans, spiders or trilobites. A few centimetres long, it had two long antennae, elaborate head shields, a segmented body, and probably lived on the seabed.
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