Ottoia was similar to modern-day priapulid worms in morphology. For example, the spiny proboscis distinctive of this phylum is present at the front end of the animal. Specimens measure an average of 8 centimeters long, although they can range anywhere from 3 to 15 centimeters.
Although Ottoia was a type of priapulid worm, it has been given its own taxonomic family, Ottoiidae.
Ottoia fossils are prevalent at the Burgess Shale fossil site of British Columbia, with over a thousand specimens known. In addition, it is also known from deposits of the Wheeler Shale in Utah, as well as sites in Spain and Nevada.
Ottoia was a burrower, and an active predator. It is believed to have constructed U-shaped burrows in the sea substrate and waited for a potential prey item to approach, whereupon it would grab it with its flexible proboscis. Fossil evidence, including gut contents of Ottoia, support this theory, and it is even possible to tell what genera it fed on.
- ↑ http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/fossil-gallery/view-species.php?id=95&ref=i&
- ↑ Budd, G. E.; Jensen, S. (2000). "A critical reappraisal of the fossil record of the bilaterian phyla". Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 75 (2): 253–95. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.1999.tb00046.x. PMID 10881389.
- ↑ Conway Morris, S (1977). "Fossil priapulid worms". Special papers in Palaeontology 20.
- ↑ http://paleobiology.si.edu/burgess/ottoia.html
- ↑ http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Sites/burgessshale/Ottoia/Ottoia.htm
- ↑ Caron, J. -B.; Jackson, D. A. (October 2006). "Taphonomy of the Greater Phyllopod Bed community, Burgess Shale". PALAIOS 21 (5): 451–465. doi:10.2110/palo.2003.P05-070R.
- ↑ http://park.org/Canada/Museum/burgessshale/worms.html
- ↑ Conway Morris, S.; Robison, R. A. (1986). "Middle Cambrian priapulids and other soft-bodied fossils from Utah and Spain". University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions 117: 1–22. hdl:1808/3696.
- ↑ Lieberman, B. S. (2003). "A New Soft-Bodied Fauna: the Pioche Formation of Nevada". Journal of Paleontology 77 (4): 674–690. doi:10.1666/0022-3360(2003)077<0674:ANSFTP>2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0022-3360.
- ↑ Vannier, Jean (August 2009). "The Gut Contents of Ottoia (Priapulida) from the Burgess Shale: Implications for the Reconstruction of Cambrian Food Chains". In Smith, Martin R.; O'Brien, Lorna J.; Caron, Jean-Bernard. Abstract Volume. International Conference on the Cambrian Explosion (Walcott 2009). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: The Burgess Shale Consortium. 31st July 2009. ISBN 978-0-9812885-1-2.
- ↑ Bruton, D. L. (2001). "A death assemblage of priapulid worms from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale". Lethaia 34 (2): 163. doi:10.1080/00241160152418456.