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Opabinia facts for kids

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Opabinia
Temporal range: Middle Cambrian
Opabinia BW.jpg
Conservation status
Fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Problematica
Class: Dinocarida
Order: Radiodonta
Genus: ''Opabinia''
Species: ''O. regalis''
Binomial name
Opabinia regalis
Walcott

Opabinia is a fossil animal found in Cambrian fossil deposits. Its sole species, Opabinia regalis, is known from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale of British Columbia. The discoverer of Opabinia, Charles Doolittle Walcott, named it after a local mountain, Opabin Peak in the Canadian Rockies. Opabinia was about the size of a mouse.

The most intriguing feature of Opabinia are its five eyes found on the dorsal surface of the head. These eyes were used to search for food. Opabinia also had no teeth but had a long trunk that it used to pick up food, just like an elephant! Because it had no teeth it could only ate soft food.

Scientists consider Opabinia one of the strangest animals ever known - when they reconstructed it in 1972, with its five eyes and a long trunk, it was so unbelievable, it almost looked like an alien creature from a science fiction movie, and made them laugh!

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