520-million-year-old sea monster unearthed
By T.K. Randall
July 19, 2014 · 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
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China, Fossil, Lyrarapax
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