Burgess shale creature illustration

The CBC website has recently posted a fascinating article on Tegopelte, an ancient creature known from the Burgess shale soft-bodied fossils. A curator at the ROM has linked a recently discovered fossil trackway to the creature.

SONSI member Marianne Collins provided the illustration of Tegopelte with which the article begins. At the bottom of the article, an awesome little animation of Tegopelte’s moving legs isn’t accredited to an individual, just to U of Saskatchewan/ROM.

Burgess shale fossils are Cambrian, which is to say, mind-bogglingly ancient. The fortuitous combination of events which has allowed scientists to discover, and artists to illustrate, the way a 500-million year old creature moved, is so improbable. This discovery is unique and wonderful.

– Trish


2 responses to “Burgess shale creature illustration

  1. I find it baffling when researchers or institutions will cite every source meticulously in a paper and when an animation or illustrations is used they commissioned (or took) they just blow past it when typing the bibliography.

    Blows my mind every time. Is it snobbery? Academic blind spot? Tradition?

  2. Just so you know, I also made the animation of the walking Tegopelte. The reason it isn’t credited is likely because I kept the copyright with right to be credited as the artist on the reconstruction but not on the animation. So my name is not connected to the animation. Frankly the animation was more of a technical drawing and I didn’t consider it likely to be reproduced. Lesson learned.

    Marianne Collins,
    Queen of the Burgess Shale

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