Brachipods are creatures with two shells, which protect a small body and a large water-filled compartment. The brachiopod eats food it filters from the water it pumps in and out of its shell. These creatures live on the sediment suface or just below it, on the bottom of a water body.

There are two main types, lamp shell and Cambrian brachiopods. These two types look different, but were very similar otherwise. Lamp shells have been found in North America, and are the most common fossil in many states.

Brachipods are used in research for early marine life and evolutionary studies. Brachiopods still exist, although they are rare.