Tech UPTechnologyThey find fossils of a gigantic marine predator

They find fossils of a gigantic marine predator

cambricoScientists from Yale University (USA) have found in Moroccofossil remains of primitive and huge marine predatorsthat lived in the ocean 500 million years ago. They belong to the family ofanomalocaridids(name that means “strange shrimp”) and they were larger than originally thought, according to a study published today inNature.

Experts have explained that the fossils found suggest thatthis marine predator reached a size of half a meterand, even a specimen of more than a meter long has been found when, at first, these invertebrates were believed to be “like little worms”. Among the known characteristics of this species, experts have highlightedhis head with thornswhich, presumably, it used to catch its prey. Furthermore, it is now known thatits body was laminated, a system they could use as gills.

On the other hand, the study of this fossil determines thatthe creature dates back to the Ordovician period, a time of intense biodiversity that followed that of the Cambrian, which means that these animals already existed 30 million years earlier than previously believed. “Anomalocaridids are one of the iconic groups of Cambrian animals,” explains Derek Briggs, director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and a co-author of the study. “Now we know thatthese giant invertebrates died more recently than we thought“, Add.

The specimens found lived on muddy sea beds, at a certain depth, and were trapped by clouds of sediment that buried them and preserved their bodies until today. Experts have highlighted that the area of Morocco is rich in “fossil treasures” since thousands of examples of marine fauna from the early Ordovician period have been found there.

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