Monday, August 17, 2009

Waptia fieldensis Plus an Anomalocaris

This picture shows a Middle Cambrian Period (500 million years ago) fossil stored at the Cincinnati Museum Geier Collection Center. It is a Waptia fieldensis from the Stephen Formation in the Burgess Shale Member. The fossil came from Burgess Pass in British Columbia, Canada.

This creature was a crustacean that resembles today's shrimp. The famed paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott named this species in 1912. His notoriety comes from his 1909 discovery the Cambrian fossils in Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies.

This next fossil is also in Burgess Shale but I am not sure what the creature was called. Looking at this website: I would say this is an Anomalocaris described by Walcott as a "strange shrimp". Apparently, it was quite the predator of the Cambrian seas.