Thursday, August 8, 2013

Anomalocaris canadensis Cambrian Fossil

This image is of an Anomalocaris canadensis fossil found in the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, Canada. It is one of the larger fossil creatures found there. This fossil dates to the Cambrian Period of the Paleozoic Era (about 530 million years ago). Since only pieces of it were found it was mistaken for a worm or jellyfish like creature at first. Learn more at its web page.

It was probably found by Charles D. Walcott (or someone in his group) who later was in charge of the Smithsonian in the United States. This fossil layer is quite famous. The Smithsonian later sent out specimens to natural history museums across the United States in the 1940s. More than likely this is one of that was sent to the Museum of Natural History and Science in Cincinnati, Ohio. It can be found in the invertebrate fossil display past the Ice Age exhibit in the museum as of August 2013.

Here is an illustration that was on display with these fossils of an artist interpretation of what these creature might have looked like.


Anonymous said...

Walcott was known to trade Burgess Shale material for local specimens from the Cincinnatian, so it is possible this material was received in trade with the University of Cincinnati.

Kentuckiana Mike said...

Here is a link showing some of their Cambrian specimens at the Geier Collection Center.
I was there in 2009 and you can see the U.S. National Museum label in the background of one of the pictures. I think that is a 1940s label.
There is also a list on-line of what they have from the Burgess Shale: