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)


Haplophrentis carinatus
(Maura McCarthy)
Haplophrentis carinatus, a one-inch fossil found at the Stanley Glacier site, was probably related to an extinct group of mollusks. The preserved parts consist of a conical shell, a lid and a pair of curved elements projecting sideways. This animal is abundant at the site and lived on the seafloor.

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