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Temporal range: Middle Cambrian
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Megacheira
Family: Kootenichelidae
Genus: Kootenichela
Legg, 2013
K. deppi
Binomial name
Kootenichela deppi
Legg, 2013

Kootenichela deppi is an extinct arthropod described from the Middle Cambrian of the Kootenay National Park, Canada. It belongs to the "great appendage arthropods".[1] Kootenichela appears to be the sister taxon of Worthenella, from cladistic analysis.[1]

The species name deppi comes from the actor Johnny Depp, after his role as Edward Scissorhands in the film of the same name. David Legg, the discoverer of Kootenichela, said:

"When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands. Even the genus name, Kootenichela, includes the reference to this film as 'chela' is Latin for claws or scissors. In truth, I am also a bit of a Depp fan and so what better way to honour the man than to immortalise him as an ancient creature that once roamed the sea?"[2]

Kootenichela appears to be a primitive arthropod. It has an elongated body composed of at least 29 segments of similar shape and appearance. On the head, there are large eyes supported by stalks and an appendage resembling an antenna.[1] The appendages bound to the trunk are poorly sclerotised. It was approximately 4 centimetres (1.6 in) long.[2] Most prominent are the claw-like, spinose cephalic appendages, which seem to suggest affinities with the "great appendage" arthropods.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d David Legg (2013). "Multi-segmented arthropods from the Middle Cambrian of British Columbia (Canada)". Journal of Paleontology. 87 (3): 493–501. doi:10.1666/12-112.1.
  2. ^ a b Colin Smith (16 May 2013). "Actor Johnny Depp immortalised in ancient fossil find". Imperial College London. Retrieved 16 May 2013.