The Wiwaxia (Wiwaxia corrugata
) was one of the species produced in the Cambrian explosion
530 million years ago. The first fossil of Wiwaxia was found in 1899
and it consisted of a single spine. Found in the Middle Cambrian bed on Mount Stephen
across from the massive Cambrian fossil beds of the Burgess Shale
. Named after "Wiwaxy" a local indian
word for "windy".
Wiwaxia fossils range in size from 1/8" to 2" in size, looking much like an armored slug, with double row of spines on top.
The fossils recovered have been detailed enough that diffraction gratings on the spines and armored plates of Wiwaxia were detectable, thus Wiwaxia is one of the few fossils for which we have some idea of their color, an iridescent blue, green and yellow.