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Palaeontology

Prehistoric lobster was the size of a man

By T.K. Randall
March 13, 2015 · Comment icon 19 comments



An artist's impression of an anomalocaridid. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Apokryltaros
Palaeontologists have uncovered the fossil remains of an enormous 480 million-year-old lobster.
Discovered in Morocco, the prehistoric sea-dweller belonged to a group of animals known as anomalocaridids.

Measuring two meters in length, this ancient ancestor of today's crustaceans, insects and spiders would have filtered seawater for tiny particles of food using special spine-covered "limbs".
The largest creatures alive at the time, these gentle giants would have taken the place of today's whales in the prehistoric seas.

"These animals are filling an ecological role that hadn't previously been filled by any other animal," said study co-leader Dr Allison Daley. "While filter-feeding is probably one of the oldest ways for animals to find food, previous filter-feeders were smaller, and usually attached to the sea-floor."

"We have found the oldest example of gigantism in a freely swimming filter-feeder."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (19)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 8 years ago
Levels of O2 are believed to have been about 28% due to large release by ocean plankton (ref: EarthSky: The Earth’s first breathable atmosphere). Changes in oxygen unlocked the evolutionary potential of many lineages allowing them to diversify and evolve larger body sizes (ref: Understanding Evolution: Oxygen as an evolutionary constraint). Makes me wonder of the evolutionary potential of a humanoid might be given that level of O2.
Comment icon #11 Posted by ineffectiveArtist 8 years ago
Lobsters can still be killed by disease and injury, yes? That would more than likely kill them before they could reach a large enough size to be as big as a man.
Comment icon #12 Posted by shrooma 8 years ago
Lobsters can still be killed by disease and injury, yes? That would more than likely kill them before they could reach a large enough size to be as big as a man. . but, with your own pool..... .
Comment icon #13 Posted by ancient astronaut 8 years ago
That would make one giant lobster roll. Yummy.
Comment icon #14 Posted by DecoNoir 8 years ago
Filter feeder my ****! I'm hitting that bugger with a flamethrower the second it looks at me funny!
Comment icon #15 Posted by Harte 8 years ago
I have never eaten lobster! Is it acceptable for me to want to munch this one? In my book. what is NOT acceptable is that you've never eaten lobster. Harte
Comment icon #16 Posted by DemonicCupcake 8 years ago
Loving the "Shark-Lobster" aesthetic in the visual interpretation.
Comment icon #17 Posted by She-ra 8 years ago
I've found that the larger the lobster the tougher and chewier the meat. I always go for the medium to smaller sized tails if I'm buying them. They are much more tasty and never as tough and chewy as the larger ones. However, I would *never* push my plate away from any sized lobster offered to me. Nom nom nom! PS: I used to spear my own in FPO. Fun times
Comment icon #18 Posted by Harte 8 years ago
I've found that the larger the lobster the tougher and chewier the meat. I always go for the medium to smaller sized tails if I'm buying them. They are much more tasty and never as tough and chewy as the larger ones. However, I would *never* push my plate away from any sized lobster offered to me. Nom nom nom! PS: I used to spear my own in FPO. Fun times If they're too tough when cooked, then eat'em raw, I says. Harte
Comment icon #19 Posted by She-ra 8 years ago
LOL!


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