Gigantic ancient arthropod was really 'a very peaceful guy'

March 11, 2015 6:46 PM

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Gigantic ancient arthropod was really 'a very peaceful guy'

Scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery in southeastern Morocco of beautifully preserved fossils of a huge arthropod - the group that includes crabs, scorpions, insects, spiders, centipedes and more - that lived 480 million years ago.

It was Earth's largest animal at the time, at least double the size of anything else, said Yale University paleontologist Peter Van Roy, who led the research published in the journal Nature. Despite its size, it was a gentle giant that ate only plankton.

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