Burgess Shale’s Weird Wonders

The fossils found in the Burgess Shale include the 500-million-year-old ancestors of most modern animals

(Painting by D.W. Miller. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution)


Sidneyia inexpectans
(Maura McCarthy)
Sidneyia inexpectans is thought to be a carnivorous animal about four inches long that ate prey larger than trilobites and lived at the bottom of the ocean during the Cambrian Period. Sidneyia is potentially an ancestral member of a group of arthropods that include today’s spiders and horseshoe crabs.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus