Picturing Pikaia


Kim Handle, a science instructor at the New York Hall of Science writes: “Often laughed at here at the NY Hall of Science, it was delightful to stumble upon the Science Tattoos blog on the Loom.  Thank you!  Here’s my Pikaia, vertebrate fossil from the Burgess Shale.”

Carl: Here’s another Pikaia tattoo, and more information from the Smithsonian Instution on this early forerunner of fish (and us).

0 thoughts on “Picturing Pikaia

  1. Actually.. Pikaia is a cephalochordate, which is actually very different than a craniate in which vertebrates are a subphylum. They lack two Hox genes, no notochord, no neural crest cells, and no ossified skeletal system (i.e. lacking the vertebral column). The reason they are famous is because they are some of the only known “fossilized” (more so molds of…) SOFT body organisms, through the Burgess Shale. So no, they are not vertebrates; they are actually a sister taxon of the craniate group with is all under the chordates. Nothing is being reanalyzed, and that is really that.

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