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Wiwaxia fossil

Wiwaxia is a genus of soft-bodied animal from the Cambrian Burgess Shale.


Wiwaxia was bilaterally symmetrical. It appeared as a featureless blob with two rows of spines down its "back". Fossils suggest it grew from 2 to 5 centimeters long, but its height remains uncertain.[1]


Although fragments of Wiwaxia had been found as early as 1899, Charles Walcott described it fully from the Burgess Shale in 1911 as a type of worm. Its exact classification remains uncertain.[2]


  1. Conway Morris, S. (1985). "The Middle Cambrian metazoan Wiwaxia corrugata (Matthew) from the Burgess Shale and Ogygopsis Shale, British Columbia, Canada". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 307 (1134): 507–582. Bibcode 1985RSPTB.307..507M. doi:10.1098/rstb.1985.0005. JSTOR 2396338. edit
  2. Walcott, C.D. (1911). "Middle Cambrian annelids. Cambrian geology and paleontology, II". Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 57: 109–144