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Department of Paleobiology

Sidneyia inexpectans (an arthropod)


One of the numerous Burgess Shale arthropods, this creature ranged from 2 to 5 inches in length. However, size is deceptive and relative - this was one of the larger predators, dining on hyolithids (like Haplophrentis) and other small crustaceans and trilobites.

The name is unusual, isn't it? Walcott named it after his son, Sidney, who later wrote of how he discovered this specimen on the first day of the Walcott's exploration of the Burgess Shale site! (See Smithsonian magazine, 1971, 1(12): 28-29.)

  • Sidneyia

Sidneyia inexpectans (SID-knee-ah in-ex-PECK-tanz) = Sidney's discovery).

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