Cambrian predator was a real horror show

The already rather fearsome anomalocaris just got even more ferocious. Paleontologists found a well preserved specimen with detail on the eye arrangement, and this top predator of the Cambrian Explosion had eye stalks:

(MSNBC) — When you look at the animal it has these really gnarly looking grasping claws at the top of its head, for grasping onto its prey,” Paterson said. “It used these grasping claws at the front to shove its prey into its circular mouth, which is also fairly fearsome looking.”


  1. frankb says

    I don’t think it would survive long surrounded by more advanced animals. It’s eyes look vulnerable.

  2. pHred says

    I love Burgess Shale critters. Too cool. Hallucigenia is one of my favorite names. I think the eyestocks make quite a bit of sense. Previous reconstructions put the eyes on top so the entire underbelly of the organism would have been open and how the heck could it see trilobites etc. moving around on the sea floor to catch dinner? This does make for a better predator.

  3. sundoga says

    I love this critter. It’s streamlined shape, beweaponed nose, size (compared to most of the contemporary things around it) – this was the apex predator of it’s day, I suspect. Where the Great White goes today, where the T. Rex strode, or the Phorrorynchus (sp? I can never get that right) – this went first (or at least very early). That long ago, but ever does the pattern repeat. It’s glorious.

  4. rtootie says

    Has anybody seen the mouth on this thing?

    I dont care about the claws. What ever going to beat PZ MYERS in a hotdog eating competition is gonna have to have a hell of a mouth on it.

    You also got to consider storage capacity. See how skinny the damm thing is? Even if it gets out to a quick lead its going to be hurting bad by the 30 second mark.

    I hope that was helpful.


  5. lordshipmayhem says

    Great – looks exactly like my Member of Parliament. Now I have to go and Javex my brain.

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