Grazers

Grazers-Digital image of the Burgess Shale community-001
Seafloor teeming with life – as seen from end of the Dive sequence – with diverse sponges and algae of various shapes, sizes and colors. Tiny particles (white cloud) sink through the water towards the bottom.

Camera advances along the seafloor and zooms towards a group of sponges and grazers.

Several individuals of the arthropod Marrella swim around.

Grazers-Digital image of the Burgess Shale community-002
A large, flat and apparently featureless slug-like animal called Odontogriphus crawls on the seafloor in the foreground. Odontogriphus is related to molluscs and uses its radula, a specialized rasping tongue equipped with several rows of teeth, to graze on cyanobacteria.

Grazers-Digital image of the Burgess Shale community-003
Behind Odontogriphus, Wiwaxia, another molluscan relative equipped with a radula, grazes on Morania, a common cyanobacterial mat occurring in vast patches along the seafloor. The body of Wiwaxia is armored by an overlapping series of scales and spines, which possibly evolved to deter would-be predators.

Several individuals of Scenella, also a probable mollusc, each with a distinct cap-shaped shell, are seen grazing alongside Wiwaxia.

Grazers-Digital image of the Burgess Shale community-004
Camera zooms in the direction of Orthrozanclus, another armored slug-like animal shown grazing on Morania. Orthrozanclus is much smaller than Wiwaxia.  Its body is covered in tiny scales, with a series of elongate spines along either side and a small shell at the front end.

End of sequence.

Total length = 29 sec