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The Burgess Shale
"The Burgess Shale: the Cambrian explosion of life. But I'm mostly concerned about the weird and wacky critters that haunted that continental shelf 540 million years ago."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
In what country is the Burgess Shale formation located?
An organism in three parts: its body was originally thought to be a sponge, its mouthparts a jellyfish, and its grasping appendages a shrimp, from which this animal gets its name. Now that it's in one piece, nobody knows quite what group this animal should belong to. But one thing was certain: if you lived in the Cambrian seas, you did not want to see this fella coming!
This critter's distinguishing features were paddle-like limbs, five eyes, and a long, nozzle-like appendage with a grasping thing on the end.
Hundreds of these little arthropods have been found. They look somewhat like trilobites, but aren't.
Of course, this is the most well-known group of organisms from the Burgess Shale. However, here their soft parts as well as their calcium carbonate-impregnated exoskeletons have been found.
This priapulid worm is named after the capital city of Canada. Specimens have been preserved so that their gut and muscle fibers can be seen.
This worm-like creature has been hailed as the earliest chordate.
Let's not forget this spiky, leggy worm. At first, paleontologists couldn't figure out which way was up, the spike side or the legs side, hence the name.
This creature looks (to me) approximately like a very small Hostess snowball with spines coming out the top. Stephen Jay Gould and Conway Morris have argued about what phylum this creature belongs to.
What is especially special about the Burgess Shale?
I wrote this quiz about it
It preserves soft-bodied organisms
The technobabble species names
A Hollywood movie has been made about it
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Compiled Jun 28 12