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Metaspriggina walcotti
Metaspriggina #1
Metaspriggina walcotti is a primitive fish of the Middle Cambrian, considered to be a transitional form between primitive chordates and the earliest vertebrates 3).
Metaspriggina is a combination of the Greek word "meta" meaning "later times" and "sprigina" from a similar organism Spriggina of the Ediacara biota (Currently, it is known that there is no relation between two. As a side note, Spriggina is namded after Red Sprigg, who discovered the Ediacara biota) 3). Needless to say, a specific name walcotti is derived from Charles D. Walcott, who discovered the Burgess Shale 3).
Metaspriggina #2
Metaspriggina is appriximately 6 cm in length and has a W-shaped pattern on its body that appears to be a myomere 2). No fins are found 2). The structures that are presumed to be a notochord and a gut are found, and a anul opening is on the posterior ventral margin (a post-anal tail) 2). The head is divided by a shallow notch into small bilobed with eyes 2). On the ventral side of anterior half, there is a branchial area with seven pairs of bar-structures, which are thought to be part of the bones of branchial arch, but no gill-openings have been found 2).
Metaspriggina #3
There is a possiblity that Metaspriggina was swimming near the seafloor and fed on microoranisms by using gills just like gill rakers 2).
Metaspriggina #4
Metaspriggina is considered to be placed to the vertebrate stem and close to Haikouichthys and Myllokunmingia of the Chengjang Biota 2).
created in June - December 2023.
  1. Briggs, DEG (2014) Paleontology: A New Burgess Shale Fauna Curr. Biol. 24(10) : 399 - 400. (DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.010.)
  2. Conway Morris S, Caron JB (2014) A primitive fish from the Cambrian of North America. [abstract] Nature 512 : 419 - 422. (DOI : 10.1038/nature13414.) (The full-text was referred to CORE.)
  3. Metaspriggina walcotti - The burgess Shale (Royal Ontario Museum).