Class Malacostraca (?)
Species †O. alata
|Family †OdaraiidaeSimonetta & Delle Cave, 1975|
Similar Canadaspis, Amiskwia, Perspicaris, Sidneyia, Waptia
0b1 odaraia turntable
Odaraia is a genus of crustacean arthropod from the Middle Cambrian. Its fossils, which reach 15 centimetres (5.9 in) in length, have been found in the Burgess Shale in British Columbia, Canada. 217 specimens of Odaraia alata are known from the Greater Phyllopod Bed, where they comprise 0.41% of the community.
Odaraia bore a large pair of eyes at the front of its body, and may have had two smaller eyes in between. It had a tubular body with at least 45 pairs of biramous limbs, and its tail had three fins – two horizontal, one vertical – which were used to stabilise the animal as it swam on its back.
At least one Odaraia fossil (Odaraia alata) is particularly noteworthy for preserving features of the animal'S brain in fairly high contrast. By virtue of their rapid decay rates, soft tissues such as brains and other ganglionic matter (along with other internal organs) are notably absent in the Cambrian fossil record, so this particular fossil is especially rare and remarkable.