I mean, c'mon - who's going to notice something as strange as this?
How about Steven den Beste?
I'd linked to one of his posts that discussed the early Cambrian, and some of you followed the link to his site. He noticed the referrals, and not only came and read, but left a comment:
I just found this in my refers, and I thank you for your kind words.I usually try to keep my fanboy excitement under wraps, but squeee!! It's not every day that you get a "no doubt you're right" from Steven den Beste!
Just wanted to mention that the original image of Hallucigenia with the spikes on the bottom and the tentacles on top was later realized to be wrong. The tentacles are legs and go on the bottom. The spikes are for defense. Once this was realized, it also turned out that Hallucigenia landed squarely in a known group of creatures.
That happened after "Wonderful Life" was published, but Gould talked about it in one of his articles in Nature, and it ended up in one of his collections.
The wikipedia article you linked to describes that and includes a more modern reproduction of the critter.
In the mean time, there's no doubt that you're right that the "early experimentation, later standardization" happened in automatic weapons just as it did in cars, and airplanes, and computers for that matter.
I'm going to be insufferable today
UPDATE 6 February 2010 13:27: Typo fixed. Thanks, Scotaku!