Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 05:28 (163 days ago) @ David Turell

Recently discovered, and very complex:

"A spiky, armor-plated "walking tank" with bulging eyes, a shield on its butt and a head like a Swiss army knife scuttled along the seafloor more than 500 million years ago, snapping up prey with a deadly pair of mouth pincers called chelicerae.

"Researchers discovered astoundingly well-preserved fossils of these thumb-size predators in 2012, and a new study recently described the creatures, determined to be a previously unknown species now dubbed Mollisonia plenovenatrix. Scientists have found dozens of fossils of this species in recent years that include preserved soft tissue of the mouthparts, along with the animals' multiple legs and bulbous eyes.

"The mouth pincers, in particular, caught scientists' attention. Chelicerae are found in a diverse group of animals called chelicerates; the group includes more than 115,000 species alive today, among them spiders, scorpions and horseshoe crabs. These fossils provided the oldest evidence to date of these mouth appendages. But these robust pincers may have originated in an unknown species that is even older, the study said."

Comment: very early in the Cambrian and way more complex than anything in the Ediacaran, despite all efforts to imply the gap is not that large..

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