By Brian K. Hall PhD, DSc, FRSC (auth.)

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This is Mimetaster from the Hunsrück Shale of Germany (Stürmer and Bergeström, 1976). Pennsylvanian forms, described by Johnson and Richardson (1969), Nitecki and Solem (1973) and Nitecki and Schram (1976) occur in iron carbonate concretions of the Carbondale Formation at Mazon Creek in northeastern Illinois. As with the Burgess Shale, conditions at these sites were conducive to the preservation of soft bodied 'animals'; 'animals' for Nitecki and Solem (1973) in describing Escumasia roryi, note that it, along with Tullimonstrum gregarium, represents the strangest form in the Mazon Creek fauna and that 'They seem to fit best among the animals ' (p.

The dark stain at the bottom of the fossil has been shown to be fused and decayed organic material (Butterfield, 1990a). Bottom as reconstructed. Top figure from Conway Morris and Whittington (1985) Fossils 0/the Burgess Shale. Anational treasure in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, 'Energy, Mines and Resources, Canada', reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Supply and Services Canada , 1990. Bottom figure reproduced with permission from Whitt ington (1985). 26 The Burgess Shale: different types of animals Fig.

Details of the 'head'are unclear. 'Head' and 'tail' are plaeed in quotations for we are not even sure which end of Hallucigenia is whieh - hence the generie name; it may even only be a part of a larger organisrn". That these genera cannot be assigned to any known group, and eannot even be confidently assigned to phyla, the primary taxonomie eategory, indicates just how different their body plans are from all the other animals known to us. Their signifieanee is therefore enormous. As summarized by Conway Morris and Whittington (1985) many body plans appeared in the Cambrian only to rapidly disappear.

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