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Article: A palaeoscolecid worm from the Burgess Shale

Palaeontology - Vol. 58 Part 6 - Cover Image
Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 58
Part: 6
Publication Date: November 2015
Page(s): 973 979
Author(s): Martin R. Smith
Addition Information

How to Cite

SMITH, M.R. 2015. A palaeoscolecid worm from the Burgess Shale. Palaeontology, 58, 6, 973-979. DOI: 10.1111/pala.12210

Author Information

  • Martin R. Smith - University of Cambridge Department of Earth Sciences Cambridge UK (Email:

Publication History

  • Issue published online: 27 October 2015
  • Article first published online: 01 January 1970
  • Manuscript Accepted: 11 September 2015
  • Manuscript Received: 06 July 2015

Funded By

Clare College, Cambridge
Palaeontological Association Sylvester‐Bradley Award

Online Version Hosted By

Wiley Online Library (Free Access)
Get Article: Wiley Online Library [Free Access]


Palaeoscolecid worms are a ubiquitous group of Early Palaeozoic ecdysozoans that are curiously lacking in the archetypal Cambrian Lagerstätten, the Burgess Shale. Here I describe Scathascolex minor gen. et sp. nov, the first unequivocal palaeoscolecid from this site. Scathascolex is armoured with simple Hadimopanella‐like plates, but lacks smaller platelets, pointing to a close affinity with the Palaeoscolecida sensu stricto. Neither preservational nor environmental factors account for the scarcity of palaeoscolecids in the Burgess Shale, which presumably represents an ecological phenomenon.

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