Burgess Shale's Weird Wonders
The fossils found in the Burgess Shale include the 500-million-year-old ancestors of most modern animals
- By Smithsonian.com
- Smithsonian.com, July 16, 2009
(J.B. Caron, with permission of the Royal Ontario Museum and Parks Canada © ROM)
At about three inches long, Diagonella cyathiformis, or this “exquisite sponge” as Caron calls it, is nearly complete and consists of diagonally oriented spicules that form the skeletal elements of the body.