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Metaspriggina by Giant-Blue-Anteater Metaspriggina by Giant-Blue-Anteater
This is the hundredth deviation I have ever submitted (excluding those that I have deleted in the past, not the many old pieces being put in storage). Also, happy birthday, Stanton ( :iconavancna: )!



Metaspriggina walcotti was a possible species of early vertebrate* that lived in the Burgess Shale and in the Marble Canyon in Utah 505-million years ago. Interpreted at first as a relative of the Ediacaran animal Spriggina, it was later found to be a chordate. The new fossils found in the Marble Canyon in Utah were better preserved, and features such as relatively large eyes, a cranium, and pharyngeal arches, with the first pair being the eventual precursors to jaws in gnathostomes.

The four-inch-long fish probably swam above the sea floor, filtering the water for food, and its upward-facing eyes kept a steady lookout for predators.

Here, it is cruising above the sand, swimming by two colonies of the cyanobacterium Marpolia.

*Evidently, this animal did not have any vertebrae, but given that taphonomic experiments have shown that the lancelets, lampreys (both larval and adult), and hagfishes, as they rotted, in addition to losing certain anatomical structures, they resembled early chordate fossils. Bearing this in mind, and given its similarity to forms like Haikouichthys, Myllokunmingia, and Zhongjianichthys, it is possible that it had vertebrae but, being made of cartilage, they rotted away before the animal was fossilized. Ditto with the fins; while this animal evidently didn't have them, I decided to reconstruct it with a short fin that runs dorsally and ventrally, up to the pharynx, like in Haikouichthys.
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:iconjustarandomgourgeist:
JustaRandomGourgeist Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I find it funny how Metaspriggina went from a Pikaia with eyes to... that
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:iconavancna:
avancna Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Pikaia  also has a short dorsal fin that runs along much of the dorsal edge
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:icongiant-blue-anteater:
Giant-Blue-Anteater Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You can see this in modern-day lancelets as well; the fin rays look like gelatinous blocks, almost like miniature versions of the dorsal myomeres of yunnanozoans, and they extend all the way to the tip of the head!
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:iconavancna:
avancna Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting.
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:icongiant-blue-anteater:
Giant-Blue-Anteater Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Here's a picture to show what I mean:

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…
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:iconavancna:
avancna Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting!
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:icongiant-blue-anteater:
Giant-Blue-Anteater Featured By Owner Edited Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my, I'm starting to feel like I am talking to this one girl at my university when I talk to her about the things that interest me! :lol:

"Very interesting♪"
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:iconavancna:
avancna Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's better than the alternative
www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ag4n…
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Submitted on
June 14, 2014
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