Link between segmented worms and arthropods.
Aysheaia is regarded as a member of the “lobopodans,” a group of worm-like Cambrian organisms possessing pairs of leg-like extensions of the body. They have been placed in a stem-group to modern onychophorans (Velvet worms). The velvet worms form an evolutionary link between the annelids and the arthropods. Lobopodia represent a basal grade from which the phyla Onychophora and Arthropoda arose, with Aysheaia comparable to the ancestral plan, and with forms that would lead to an arthropod body plan.