Story: Evolution of plants and animals

Peripatus (1st of 3)


Peripatus, or velvet worms, are ancient ‘living fossils’. Fossil remains of related creatures date from the early Cambrian period – around 520 million years ago. Related fossils are nearly all marine species and include Hallucigenia, a strange, worm-like sea creature with spines and tentacles. Peripatus are one of New Zealand’s primitive life forms, and have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10055597
Photograph by Paul Schilov

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How to cite this page:

Matt McGlone, 'Evolution of plants and animals - Split from Gondwana', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 July 2024)

Story by Matt McGlone, published 24 Sep 2007