Fossils of giant lobster ancestor help explain evolution of arthropods

March 11, 2015 7:36 PM

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At seven feet long, the newly discovered sea creature was one of the largest on Earth; it dates to roughly 480 million years ago. Named for its discoverer, an amateur Moroccan collector named Mohamed Ben Moula, the animal is part of a group of ancient sea creatures known as anomalocaridids.

Anomalocaridids, which first appear in the fossil record about 530 million years ago, are a group of arthropod ancestors characterized by a pair of grasping appendages extending from the head, a round mouth with toothed plates, and a long, segmented body with a single set of dorsal flaps used for sw...

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