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.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
Photograph by Paul Schilov
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