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Palaeontology

520-million-year-old sea monster unearthed

By T.K. Randall
July 19, 2014 · Comment icon 17 comments

A model anomalocaridid. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Espen Horn
The extremely well preserved fossil remains of an ancient shrimp-like predator have been discovered.
The fossilized Lyrarapax unguispinus was unearthed in China and exhibited a level of preservation so impressive that even its brain and nervous system could still be identified.

Part of a group of shrimp-like creatures known as anomalocaridids, Lyrarapax would have preyed upon the inhabitants of the Cambrian seas with its deadly cone-shaped mouth and bladed body armor.

While not particularly large by today's standards at just 6 inches long, the species would have nonetheless proven highly effective in the prehistoric oceans.

The anomalocaridids are believed to have thrived until the end of the Paleozoic Era by which point they had gone extinct around 251 million years ago.

Source: Live Science | Comments (17)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Aardvark-DK 10 years ago
I breed fresh water shrimps, that one would be cool to add to my collection
Comment icon #9 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
450 millions year is too long, too much time. It is impossible!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Harte 10 years ago
Drawn butter. Harte
Comment icon #11 Posted by paperdyer 10 years ago
450 millions year is too long, too much time. It is impossible! And you say that, why? Please give your reasoning.
Comment icon #12 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
And you say that, why? Please give your reasoning. Because they are not dating the exact samples found, they simply would simply assign the age to the layer where the fossil was discovered is claimed to be . Another method is dating the layer where they found the fossil. However, what often happens is that the various methods they use (Uranium-Lead, Potassium-Argon, Rubidium-Strontium, etc.) would provide different year range results, i find this funny but it is true. Here is where simply they will pick or change the most appropriate year range result to their believes. Disappointed? Don't say... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by seaturtlehorsesnake 10 years ago
but you said it was "impossible". the fact that there are innacuracies to some of the dating systems we use does not mean that it is impossible for something to be 450 million years old. in fact, you still haven't actually given any reasoning as to why 450 million years is "too long", or even what you meant by that, exactly. too long for what?
Comment icon #14 Posted by coolguy 10 years ago
Great find, but is it really 520 million years old??
Comment icon #15 Posted by qxcontinuum 10 years ago
My impossible Remarque was just meant as impossible to determine for sure . Could have been as well 100 million or 1 million which is much already for a such fossil to be preserved.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Harte 10 years ago
Great find, but is it really 520 million years old?? Technically, not. It's birthday is next week. My impossible Remarque was just meant as impossible to determine for sure . Could have been as well 100 million or 1 million which is much already for a such fossil to be preserved. Absurd. The Cambrian period is well known and has been studied in locations all over the world. There is a question as to when the actual named period itself begins and ends, but there is no question of the dates of fossils found therin, other than ranges given by the dating methods. You can be absolutely certain that... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by bobb73 10 years ago
Breaded and dipped in a fine cocktail sauce or minuet to be exact...this would be a very tasty shrimp!


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