Marrella

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Marrella splendens
Temporal range: Mid Cambrian
Fossil Marrella
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Order: Marrellida
Raymond, 1935
Genus: Marrella
Walcott, 1912
Binomial name
Marrella splendens
Walcott, 1912

Marrella splendens is an arthropod known from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia. It is the most common animal in the Burgess Shale.

History[change | change source]

Marrella was the first fossil collected by Charles Doolittle Walcott from the Burgess Shale, in 1909.[1] Walcott described Marrella informally as a "lace crab" and described it more formally as an odd trilobite. In 1971, Whittington did a thorough redescription of the animal. On the basis of its legs, gills and head appendages, he decided that it was not a trilobite, nor a chelicerate, nor a crustacean.[2]

Marrella-like organisms are found in other Cambrian deposits. They are known from sediments as late as the Devonian.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Gould, Stephen Jay (2000). Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. Vintage. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-09-927345-5 . OCLC 45316756 . http://books.google.com/?id=SjpSkzjIzfsC&pg=PA108. Also OCLC 44058853.
  2. Whittington, H. B. (1971). "Redescription of Marrella splendens (Trilobitoidea) from the Burgess Shale, Middle Cambrian, British Columbia". Bulletin – Geological Survey of Canada (Geological Survey of Canada) 209: 1–24.
  3. Siveter D.J. et al 2007. A Silurian 'marrellomorph' arthropod. Proc Biol Sci. 274 (1623): 2223–2229. doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0712 . PMC 2287322 . PMID 17646139 .