Lobopodia is a group of poorly understood animals, which mostly fall as a stem group of arthropods. Their fossil range dates back to the Early Cambrian. Lobopodians are poorly segmented and typically bear legs with hooked claws on their ends. The oldest near-complete fossil lobopods date to the Lower Cambrian; some are also known from a Silurian Lagerstättens. They resemble the modern onychophorans (velvet worms) in their worm-like body shape and numerous stub-legs. They differ in their possession of numerous dorsal armour plates, "sclerita", which often cover the entire body and head. Since they taper off into long, pointed spikes, these probably served a role in defence against predators. Individual sclerita are found among the so-called "small shelly fauna" (SSF) from the early Cambrian period.