(named after a creature in Ktunaxa legend).
Named By: CÚdric Aria, Jean-Bernard Caron & Robert Gaines - 2015.
Species: Y. kootenayi (type).
Size: Main body about 15 centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada, British Columbia - Marble Canyon.
Time period: Cambrian.
Fossil representation: Specimens preserved complete on slab.
has been a very big insight into how modern arthropods may have
developed the features that they are known for. In modern (and
most prehistoric forms), different functions such as sense,
grasping, walking, etc. are usually divided to specific body
parts. In Yawunik however you can see body parts
adapted that are for
lack of a better term multipurpose.
Yawunik looks a little bit like a fifteen centimetre long pill bug, but it is the front appendages that the genus is most notable for. Each appendage ended with the growth of three claws, but this wasn’t all. From the ends of these claws, long wisp like antennae grew, meaning that Yawunik could not only sense but also trap prey with the same body parts, abilities that are usually separated in other forms.
Aside from the multipurpose claws, another thing that makes Yawunik stand out is that this creature had four eyes. These were underneath the most forward part of the shell which may have acted as a hood for the eyes and with this arrangement in mid Yawunik seems to have had its vision orientated forwards. Whether Yawunik sifted through soft sediment for buried prey, or if it lay in-between crevices to ambush passing animals, we simply do not know.
- A large new leanchoiliid from the Burgess Shale and the influence of inapplicable states on stem arthropod phylogeny. - Palaeontology. - CÚdric Aria, Jean-Bernard Caron & Robert Gaines - 2015.