Prehistoric Earth Wiki

A restoration of Canadaspis perfecta, with two Waptia fieldensis on the right

Canadaspis was an aquatic arthropod from the Cambrian Period of North America and Asia.


Canadaspis had distinctive biramous appendages that may have been used to stir up sediment on the ocean floor. Spines on the inside of its legs would have caught larger particles and directed them to the mouth where they could be ingested.[1]

It also possessed antennae, and spines hello from THE OTHER SIDE

on its head that protected its eyes.[1]


It was originally believed that Canadaspis was a type of crustacean, but this no longer appears to be the case.[2] Others believe it should be placed at the base of the clade Euarthropoda.[3] There are two known species: C. perfecta and C. laevigata.


Canadaspis perfecta was first described by Derek Briggs in 1978 from the Burgess Shale of British Columbia, Canada.[1] Fossils from the species have since been found in Nevada and Utah.[4] C. laevigata was described in 1991 from the Chengjiang biota of the Maotianshan Shales in China.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Briggs, D. (1978). "The morphology, mode of life, and affinities of Canadaspis perfecta (Crustacea: Phyllocarida), Middle Cambrian, Burgess Shale, British Columbia". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 281 (984): 439–487. doi:10.1098/rstb.1978.0005.
  2. Butterfield, N.J. (2002). "Leanchoilia guts and the interpretation of three-dimensional structures in Burgess Shale-type fossils". Paleobiology 28 (1): 155–171. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2002)028<0155:LGATIO>2.0.CO;2.
  3. Lieberman, B.S. (2003). "A new soft-bodied fauna: the Pioche Formation of Nevada". Journal of Paleontology 77 (4): 674–690. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2003)077<0674:ANSFTP>2.0.CO;2.
  4. Briggs, D.E.G.; Lieberman, B.S.; Hendricks, J.R.; Halgedahl, S.L.; Jarrard, R.D. (2008). "Middle Cambrian arthropods from Utah". Journal of Paleontology 82 (2): 238–254. doi:10.1666/06-086.1.
  5. Hou, X.,; J. Bergström (1991). "The arthropods of the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang fauna, with relationships and evolutionary significance". In A. M. Simonetta; S. Conway Morris. The Early Evolution of Metazoa and the Significance of Problematic Taxa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 179–187. ISBN 0-521-40242-5.