Annelids and Paleontology

Annelid fossils include tracks and burrows, jaws, and whole bodies. They were already diverse in the Cambrian fossils of the Burgess Shale. One of them called Canadia is much like a modern polychaete worm with a fairly complex brain. Modern annelids with simple brains evolved from ancestors with more complex brains.  

Ancestral annelids had a reasonably complex nervous system that has been reduced numerous times independently during transitions in lifestyle and/or extensive modifications of the annelid body plan.

Annelids were even burrowing in the sediment during the Cambrian. 

General Info

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    Book with pencil

Role in Ecosystem

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    Bee with arrows around it


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    Thermometer and waves

Human Interaction

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    Human next to globe


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    Skull of dinosaur
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    Lesson Plan
    Annelids: Powerful and Capable Worms
    A list of questions with an emphasis on adaptations to use after viewing the video Annelids: Powerful and Capable Worms  

    Full Lesson Plan