Wiwaxia was a sea-floor dweller. It likely moved around using its muscular foot and used its sclerites (plates) and spines for defense against predators like Anomalocaris (Morris 1985). Conway-Morris (1985) suggests that the lack of spines in the juveniles and their more flattened shape would have allowed them to burrow into the seafloor. This would have helped them evade predators. The feeding apparatus suggests that Wiwaxia fed on bacterial mats, algae, and detritus that it scraped off the bottom of the sea floor (Gould 1989; Smith 2012). Death assemblages show that Wiwaxia lived in a community that consisted of arthropods, worms, algae and trilobites (Morris 1985).
- Gould, S. J. 1989. Wonderful life. The Burgess Shale and the nature of history. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, NY.
- Morris, S. C. 1985. The Middle Cambrian Metazoan Wiwaxia Corrugata (Matthew) from the Burgess Shale and Ogygopsis Shale, British Columbia, Canada. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 307:507-582.
- Smith, M. R. 2012. Mouthparts of the Burgess Shale fossils Odontogriphus and Wiwaxia: implications for the ancestral molluscan radula. Proc Biol Sci 279:4287-4295.
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