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Halkeria

Halkeria is a very early Cambrian animal of unknown affinity. After being known from armour fragments for several decades, intact specimens were recovered in 1998 from shales in an unglaciated area of NorthEast Greenland. The animal turns out to be an armored worm like form a few centimeters in length with two distinctive features. The body armor is made of hollow spines known as Sclerites The head and tail each bear a shell that in very similar to that of inarticulate brachiopods. The resemblance to the middle Cambrian form Wiwaxia[?] is not terribly surprising, but the connection between these and the sponge-like Chancelloria[?] is a mystery. The presence of brachiopod-like shells is a total (and not especially welcome) surprise. It is possible that Halkeria is related to later animals known as Machaerids and/or to sclerite bearing worm like animals from the Lower Cambrian of China.



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