Definition of Opabinia in English:


Pronunciation /əʊpəˈbɪnɪə/


  • A genus of enigmatic fossil Cambrian invertebrates found in the Burgess Shale of Canada, whose single species, Opabinia regalis, constitutes a unique phylum, and is characterized by an elongated segmented body, five eyes, and a long flexible proboscis terminating in two groups of spines.

    Opabinia was classified as an arthropod by Walcott in 1912, but Whittington cast doubt on this theory in 1975.


Early 20th century. From scientific Latin Opabinia, genus name from Opabin, the name of a pass between Mount Hungabee and Mount Biddle in British Columbia, Canada, where the fossil was discovered + scientific Latin -ia.