The incredibly well-preserved fossil is helping scientists understand how some of Earth's first worms evolved.
More than 500 million years ago, in what is today Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, a fast-moving underwater mudslide killed and trapped a small worm.
That's one theory Karma Nanglu, a researcher at the University of Toronto, has for a recently found fossil that's in what he describes as shockingly good condition.
The fossil is a new species of bristle worm, known scientifically as Kootenayscolex barbarensis, described in the journal Current Biology. It's small, only about two centimeters long, and flanked by hundreds of tiny hair-sized bristles called chaetae.
At its head, it has two tube-like features called palps, which Nanglu says could have been used to feel out the ground in front of it. During the Precambrian Era when the worm was alive, it would have crawled along the ocean floor feeding on organic material and recycling it back into the food chain after it was preyed upon by other species. It's a function that makes it similar to leeches and earthworms, the species into which it eventually evolved.