Also Available in:
This article is from
Creation 45(1):12–13, January 2023

Browse our latest digital issue Subscribe

Eye-catching ‘giant’ new Burgess Shale species


Hugo Salais / Metazoa Studio; originally published in Izquierdo-López, A., & Caron, J. B. (2022). iScience, 25(7), 104675anthropod

Arthropods are creatures with an exterior skeleton and a segmented body plan. They include butterflies, centipedes, crabs, scorpions, and the extinct group trilobites.

Recently, a new species has been discovered: “Balhuticaris voltae, a bivalved arthropod from the 506-million-year-old Burgess Shale.”1 The assigned age of the Burgess Shale, based on the fossils it contains and its relationship with other rocks, presents evolutionists with the dilemma of the so-called Cambrian Explosion. That is where “a huge variety of animals appear suddenly, ‘out of the blue’.”2

This is a major challenge for evolution, since creatures representing all the major body plans appear ‘at once’, close to where abundant plant and animal fossils first appear in the rocks. Such disparity of design at this early stage is virtually a “formal disproof of Darwinism”, as demonstrated in an earlier Creation article on the Cambrian explosion.2

Hugo Salais / Metazoa Studio; originally published in Izquierdo-López, A., & Caron, J. B. (2022). iScience, 25(7), 104675Burgess-Shale

And the huge variety in these extinct marine-dwellers keeps coming:

New species are being studied and taxonomized [categorized] all the time, with well over 200 species discovered to date.3

And now this specimen. “Balhuticaris is one of the biggest fully preserved animals from the Burgess Shale and the Cambrian”. Also, at about “245 mm [9.5 in long], Balhuticaris is the biggest bivalved arthropod known to date”.1

Probably its most remarkable feature is the carapace that looks like floppy ears. This carapace is part of the shell that covers the head. When you eat shrimps (prawns), you grab the carapace to break off the head. Its eyes are fascinating too; they literally stand out!

Balhuticaris has the “highest number of segments [110] of any Cambrian arthropod”.1 On the topic of multi-segmentation (> 20 segments), the scientists say that “the origin of this trait remains unknown”.1 Consideration of the Creator as the originator of the segments seems not to have occurred to them.

The reason the researchers can discuss the small segments is due to the exquisite preservation of many of the fossils. If fossilization occurred by slowly covering the creature—over long stretches of time—then it would rot, fall apart, and be recycled by other creatures. But not surprisingly, “… some specimens show evidence of pre-burial decay and disarticulation” (scattering of body parts no longer held together by the joints between them).1,4

The Burgess Shale, containing a great variety of creatures buried together, does more than just testify against evolution. It is a memorial to Noah’s Flood. The raging floodwaters—carrying lots of sediment—rapidly buried a smorgasbord of animals, thus preserving them. Secular scientists increasingly recognize that well-preserved fossils are generally the result of rapid burial,5 and Noah’s Flood fits the bill.

Posted on homepage: 20 March 2024

References and notes

  1. Izquierdo-Lopez, A. and Caron, J-B., Extreme multisegmentation in a giant bivalve arthropod from the Cambrian Burgess Shale, Cell 25(7), 15 Jul 2022. Return to text.
  2. Statham, D., The Cambrian explosion, Creation 39(2):20–23, 2017. Return to text.
  3. Delbert, C., Meet This gigantic new Burgess Shale creature that looks like a floppy-eared hound, popularmechanics.com, 18 Jul 2022. Return to text.
  4. The Flood would have also buried the carcasses of some creatures that had died of natural causes. Return to text.
  5. Tuinstra, L., Flood-buried crocodile’s last supper was a dinosaur, 14 Apr 2022. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Flood Fossils
by Vance Nelson
US $33.00
Hard cover