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Department of Paleobiology

Canadia spinosa (a polychaete annelid)


These annelids, about 1 to 2 inches in length, are some of the most photogenic of the Burgess Shale fossils. The head bore a pair of slender tentacles while the body was covered with innumerable setae (short bristles). The gut could be everted anteriorly to form a feeding proboscis. Canadia could use its limbs to walk on the substrate or swim just above it. Sediment has never been found in the gut, suggesting that this worm may have been a carnivore or scavenger.

  • Canadia

Canadia spinosa (ka-NAY-dee-ah spine-OSE-uh). = (The) spiny, or thorny Canadian.
Polychaete annelid (POLLY-keet ANNE-uh-lid). Poly (Gr.) = many + chaete (Gr.) = long hair; annelid (L.) = ringed animal.

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