Detailed Protopriapulites Priapulid Worm Fossil

Protopriapulites haikouensis

Phylum Priapulida, Paleopriapulitidae

Geological Time: Early Cambrian (~525 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 15 mm long by 4 mm across on a 36 mm by 25 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Chengjiang Maotianshan Shales, Quiongzhusi Section, Yu’anshan Member, Heilinpu Formation, Mafang Village, Haaikou, Anning, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

Fossil Code: CJF876

Price: $175.00

Protopriapulites Priapulid Worm FossilDescription: This is one of the smaller members of the Priapulida is known as Protopriapulites. While some consider it the same as Sicyophorus rarus, I have never seen an example of that taxon that was this large before. The diversity of soft-tissue fossils is astonishing: algae, medusiforms, sponges, priapulids, annelid-like Protopriapulitesworms, echinoderms, arthropods (including trilobites), hemichordates, chordates, and the first agnathan fish make up just a small fraction of the total. Numerous problematic forms are known as well, some of which may have represented failed attempts at diversity that did not persist to the present day.

The priapulids are a group of non-segmented worms whose modern-day examples can reach 30 cm in length, and live in both shallow and deep marine sands as carnivores. I’ve included an artist’s (my daughter’s) rendition of it in life pose.

Also see: Chengjiang Faunal List Chengjiang Fossils

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