Tags: 508 million year old | arthropod fossils | british columbia

508-Million-Year-Old Arthropod Fossils Discovered in British Columbia

(Lars Fields/Royal Ontario Museum)

By    |   Friday, 28 Apr 2017 05:01 PM

A 508-million-year-old, sea-dwelling arthropod discovered through fossils in British Columbia, Canada, had mandibles and would have hunted soft prey like sandworms along the ocean floor.

Scientists named the creature Tokummia katalepsis after the Tokumm Creek nearby where the fossils were found. Katalepsis is related to the Greek word for “seizing,” according to Live Science.

T. katalepsis would have been about four inches long, which was considered large for that time period, and had 50 legs in addition to the simplistic mandibles with tiny teeth on their sides, Live Science reported.

The legs were paddle-shaped and used for both swimming and walking on the ocean bottom, scientists think. The claws, though simple, were “some of the strongest claws we have seen in any Cambrian arthropod,” study co-author Jean Bernard Caron said, Live Science reported.

The creature also had a tent-shaped shell to protect its body. Arthropods are invertebrates without an internal skeletal structure. They depend on a hard exoskeleton and shell to protect them from injury.

T. katalepsis is the oldest known arthropod with mandibles, Caron said. The first fossils of the sea creature were found in 2012, and findings were published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

Other arthropods include spiders, insects, crustaceans and myriapods (millipedes and centipedes). No creatures like T. katalepsis exist today, but creatures with mandibles may have evolved from this ancestor, scientists theorize, Live Science reported.

The study was done by the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum in an area known as the Burgess Shale fossil sites within Yoho and Kootenay national parks in British Columbia. The site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, according to Phys.org. https://phys.org/news/2017-04-paleontologists-million-year-old-sea-creature-opener-like.html

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A 508-million-year-old, sea-dwelling arthropod discovered through fossils in British Columbia, Canada. Scientists named the creature Tokummia katalepsis after the Tokumm Creek nearby where the fossils were found.
508 million year old, arthropod fossils, british columbia
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2017-01-28
Friday, 28 Apr 2017 05:01 PM
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