Ontogeny, morphology and taxonomy of the soft-bodied Cambrian 'mollusc' Wiwaxia

  title={Ontogeny, morphology and taxonomy of the soft-bodied Cambrian 'mollusc' Wiwaxia},
  author={M. R. Smith},
  • M. R. Smith
  • Published 2014
  • Biology
  • Palaeontology
  • The soft-bodied Cambrian organism Wiwaxia poses a taxonomic conundrum. Its imbricated dorsal scleritome suggests a relationship with the polychaete annelid worms, whereas its mouthparts and naked ventral surface invite comparison with the molluscan radula and foot. 476 new and existing specimens from the 505-Myr-old Burgess Shale cast fresh light on Wiwaxia's sclerites and scleritome. My observations illuminate the diversity within the genus and demonstrate that Wiwaxia did not undergo discrete… CONTINUE READING
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