Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History - The Burgess Drama, Act 2. A New View Takes Hold: Homage to Opabinia, 1975 Summary & Analysis

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The Burgess Drama, Act 2. A New View Takes Hold: Homage to Opabinia, 1975 Summary and Analysis

In 1975, Whittington begins studying Opabinia. Its structure is so strange that many paleontologists find it unbelievable. Walcott thinks that Opabinia is just another crustacean, but Opabinia possesses a bizarre frontal nozzle and five eyes, which makes it an object of fascination. There are only ten specimens of it in the Burgess Shale. At this point, Gould focuses to bring Whittington's insight into clear view.

Everyone thinks Opabinia is an arthropod. But armed with new techniques, Whittington reviews this claim. He uses his new methods to dissect the carapace of Opabinia in order to uncover its bodily appendages (something characteristic of arthropods). Shockingly, after dissection, he finds nothing underneath at all. Opabinia is not an arthropod at all, and it...

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This section contains 213 words
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