Aysheaia

noun

Ay·​shea·​ia ī-ˈshā-ə How to pronounce Aysheaia (audio)
paleontology
: a genus of soft-bodied marine invertebrates known from fossils of the Cambrian period that are thought to be ancestral to the velvet worms (phylum Onychophora)
A marine onychophoran from the Cambrian would be a creature of supreme evolutionary importance—and Aysheaia, generally so interpreted, became a hero of the Burgess.Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, 1989

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from New Latin, from Ayshea, erroneously for Aysha (later Ayesha), peak in British Columbia near where the fossils were found + -ia -ia

First Known Use

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Aysheaia was in 1911

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Cite this Entry

“Aysheaia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Aysheaia. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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