Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class  ???
Order Waptiida
Family Waptiidae
Genus Waptia
1st Species Waptia fieldensis
Other attributes
Time Range 509-505 mya
Location Canada, United States of America
Name Meaning Animal from Mount Wapta
Physical Dimensions 8 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Detritivore

Waptia is a waptiid waptiid arthropod from the Cambrian Stage 3 of Canada and the United States of America. It was named in 1912 by Charles D. Walcott. It was akin to modern crustaceans, and was even one of the ancestors of them.


Waptia was a very shrimp-like arthropod. It had a bivalved carapace, a head with 5 segments (which had a pair of feeding appendages on each segment), big eyes, and long, slender antenna, a body made of 10 segments (with a pair of walking legs on each segment), and a tail made of 5 segments with a tail fan on the end of it. Its body would have been covered in a hard, chitinous exoskeleton.


Waptia was a detritivore, feeding on organic matter. Once it came across a piece of detritus, it would use its feeding appendages to pick it up and pass it into its mouth.


Aside from its shrimp-like looks, Waptia also had a shrimp-like lifestyle. It was a bottom-dwelling detritivore that fed on any piece of organic debris that sunk to the seafloor. However, its feeding appendages were not very strong, so it would feed by sifting through the seafloor to find organic particles to eat. As well as this, the fan on its tail proved that it was an active swimmer, and could flick its tail to propel itself backwards, as an attempt to escape predators.

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