Wiwaxia

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Wiwaxia
Temporal range: Middle Cambrian
Conservation status
Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: ?Mollusca
(unranked): Halwaxiida
Family: Wiwaxiidae
Walcott, 1911
Genus: Wiwaxia
Binomial name
Wiwaxia corrugata
Walcott, 1911

Wiwaxia corrugata is an extinct species of animal known only from fossils found in Canada's Burgess Shale deposits.

Wiwaxia somewhat resembles a very small porcupine (about 30 mm in diameter) with its quills pulled out. The body is covered by both spines and scales. The spines are believed to have been used for defence purposes. Wiwaxia probably grazed or scavenged by walking or crawling along the sediment. One hundred and forty specimens are known from the Burgess Shale. Similar scales and spines have turned up in similarly aged sediments from elsewhere around the world suggesting that Wiwaxia was widespread during the Cambrian.