It's been raining a bit here recently so the earthworms have been coming up (much to the fascination of my kids and the delight of my chickens). Ignoring the fact this thing appears to be underwater (a guess from the colour scheme, I know nothing about this thing but think the name is cool ) I'm trying to envision the result or method of a prehistoric chicken trying to gobble it up Nice work on the texturing.
This thing is from the Cambrian, before the time of any vertebrate, so no prehistoric chicken would have feed on it! Scientists don't know much about this thing either. At first it was thought to walk on its spikes until somebody envision that the spikes were on the back on the animal.
Concerning Hallucigenia, no theory about its exact nature is rock solid. For instance, in none of the fossils the "legs" appeared paired like the spines. So are they really legs? There is no indication of eyes or of any other organs. This thing is plain weird and I am not sure any of the different theories hold...
Touche. Then again, perhaps we should remember to refer to the Cambrian "onychophores" as "lobopods," and restrict the term "onychophoran" to peripati (who appear in the fossil record during the Carboniferous)
Yeah, I agree although I have the impression that all these attempts to connect many of these Cambrian fossils to a particular clade are more wishful thinking than anything else. Is Dickinsonia a jellyfish, an annelid or a fungus? Come on, how can you tell? It doesn't remotely look like any of these.
It was once believed to be a polychaete worm - the original classification of Walcott says so. However, it is now believed to be a kind of arthropod, possibly related to onychophorans. I suggest reading the essay "The Reversal of Hallucigenia", by Stephen J. Gould: [link]