New Cambrian Creature Published

SONSI member Marianne Collins’s reconstruction of the Cambrian critter Aegirocassis has just been launched by the journal NATURE and is all over the internet. She created the illustration for Peter Van Roy, primary author and associate research scientist at Yale University. The new animal, named Aegirocassis benmoulae in honor of its discoverer, Mohamed Ben Moula, attained a size of at least seven feet, ranking it among the biggest arthropods that ever lived. It was found in southeastern Morocco and dates back some 480 million years. The reconstruction shows a double row of lateral swimming flaps; this is an important link between anomalocarids and the two-branched limbs characteristic of modern arthropods such as shrimp. See the NATURE article here: Anomalocaridid trunk limb homology revealed by a giant filter-feeder with paired flaps

© Marianne Collins

© Marianne Collins

© Marianne Collins

© Marianne Collins

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