Vauxia 3D BSFG

A computer restoration of Vauxia bellula

Vauxia is a genus of demosponge from the Early Paleozoic Era.


Different species of Vauxia have different appearances, and are distinguished by the shapes of their branches. Some species have simple, unbranched forms while others have very long and complex branches. Vauxia can reach up to 15 centimeters in height, although 8 centimeters is more common.

Fossils of Vauxia are found globally, in rocks dating to the Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian Periods.[1]


Vauxia was originally believed to be a type of glass sponge, but J. K. Rigby reclassified it as a demosponge in 1980.[2] There are six or seven known species, and the type species is V. gracilenta.[3]


Five species of Vauxia were initially described by Charles Doolittle Walcott in 1920 from the Burgess Shale. The name refers to a peak in British Columbia called Mount Vaux.[4]


  1. Botting, J. (2007). "‘Cambrian’ demosponges in the Ordovician of Morocco: Insights into the early evolutionary history of sponges". Geobios 40 (6): 737–748. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2007.02.006.
  2. Rigby, J. K. 1980. The new Middle Cambrian sponge Vauxia magna from the Spence Shale of Northern Utah and taxonomic position of the Vauxiidae. Journal of Paleontology, 54(1): 234-240.
  3. Rigby, J. K. and D. Collins. 2004. Sponges of the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale and Stephen Formations, British Columbia. Royal Ontario Museum Contributions in Science (1): 155 p.
  4. Walcott, C. D. 1920. Middle Cambrian Spongiae. Cambrian Geology and Paleontology IV. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 67(6): 261-365.