Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History - The Burgess Drama, Act I. Marrella and Yohoia: The Dawning and Consolidation of Suspicion, 1971-1974 Summary & Analysis

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The Burgess Drama, Act I. Marrella and Yohoia: The Dawning and Consolidation of Suspicion, 1971-1974 Summary and Analysis

Harry Whittington would not willfully change paradigms unless he was forced to do so. His work begins with the most common organism among the Burgess Shale fossils—Marrella splendens. Walcott thought it was the foreshadowing of the trilobite. It turns out that Walcott's taxonomy had to be significantly updated to include new genera and even phyla that were not known to exist in his time. Many of these new categories are not directly related to modern groups. It is these categories that form Gould's story. In 1959, Leif Størmer described the Burgess Shale arthropods in his Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, which focused mostly on trilobites. He decides, in contrast to Walcott, to...

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