I need a time machine with a 500 million year range

Because I really need to see this Middle Cambrian chelicerate from Mount Stephen, British Columbia. Look at that face full of widgets, like an array of Swiss Army knives! I want a Sanctacaris uncata for a pet.

If we’ve only got a 420 million year range, I guess I could settle for a new ophiocistioid with soft-tissue preservation from the Silurian Herefordshire Lagerstätte. Sollasina cthulhu is a lovely name.

I’ve decided mammals are boring, and that invertebrates are where it’s at. Sorry, humans, I’m not really interested in associating with you any more. Nothing personal. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve changed.

Well, I actually haven’t changed that much.


  1. zetopan says

    “… invertebrates are where it’s at.”

    Then you should be dissecting members of congress, mostly GOTPers but some Dems as well.

  2. microraptor says

    Oh, I saw a news article about Sollasina cthulhu a few weeks ago and wondered if it was going to get mentioned here.

  3. anxionnat says

    Invertebrates (like spiders) are so beautiful in all their alien weirdness! They look like something out of a ’50s sci fi movie. Thank you for the pictures.

  4. monad says

    But dilemma: should you visit what will someday become a Lagerstätte to see what these remarkable partly-known creatures were actually like, or do you want to visit somewhen else, which will undoubtedly have some remarkable soft-bodied creatures too but they are completely unknown to us?

  5. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin points out the stack of turtles supporting the Earth is a time machine: Just climb down the stack until you arrive at the turtle which would have been uppermost in the desired era, remove all higher turtles (the ones you’ve just climbed down (assuming you left from the Earth, if not, some adjustments may be required)), and hey, presto!, scamper back onto the Earth now in the intended era. She advises careful storage of the removed turtles, else you’ll have to wait for their replacements to grow, which would take — in the OP’s case — around 500m years, assuming too radically different happens this time around.

    She also Very Strongly Advises returning the turtles to the stack with the same ordering, in reverse of the order of removal. That is, if the turtles were removed in the order ABC, put them back in the order CBA and not, e.g., ACB, or worse, DBA — else you’re tinkering with time, which besides qualifying as “too radically different” would annoy many spiders, penguins, cheeses, Time Lords, and Stonehenges.

    The actual resolution of a turtle varies, so you’d be unlikely to hit precisely 500myo. This is a bit annoying when one wants to go watch the ancient Mayans land at Yucatán c.65myo. They were actually trying for the spaceport at Atlantis but something went wrong, hypothesises include a Pterosaur strike or the Great Galactic Ghoul (the Ghoul, realising its mistake, or so that hypothesis goes, has since gone into hiding near Mars and interprets all the missions to Mars as retaliatory strikes).

  6. Richard Smith says

    If you kept one as a pet, it looks like Sanctacaris could quickly uncata your home.

  7. Gnu Atheist says

    I really like Anomalocaris from the Burgess shale. Now THAT would make a cool pet!