Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey

Date:
August 22, 2014
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
A new species of carnivorous crustacean has been identified, which roamed the seas 435 million years ago, grasping its prey with spiny limbs before devouring it.

Jurassic thylacocephalan Clausocaris lithographica.
Credit: Haug et al. 2014

A new species of carnivorous crustacean has been identified, which roamed the seas 435 million years ago, grasping its prey with spiny limbs before devouring it. The fossil is described and details of its lifestyle are published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Related Articles


The fossils were discovered near Waukesha, Wisconsin, with the new species, Thylacares brandonesis, named after the Brandon Bridge Formation where it was found. It is the oldest known example of the Thylacocephala group -- shrimp-like creatures, mostly from the Jurassic period, known for their bulbous eyes and multiple limbs. The muscle structure and leg morphology of the new species suggests that it used its long, claw-like appendages to catch prey in a similar way to modern remipedes, blind crustaceans still found in salt water-filled caves.

Derek Briggs, Yale University, says: "This new research extends the range of this enigmatic group of fossil arthropods back to the Silurian, some 435 million years ago, and provides evidence that they belong among the crustaceans, the modern group that includes lobsters, shrimps and crabs."

Carolin Haug, LMU Munich, said: "T. brandonensis was probably an actively hunting predator, which caught the prey with its front claws and crushed it into smaller pieces with the protrusions nearer its mouthparts."

"This early, Silurian, example of Thylacocephala is in many ways much less extreme than the more recent Jurassic species. It still has normal-sized eyes in contrast to the very enlarged ones that came later, and shorter front claws in T. brandonensis compared to the extremely elongated ones in more recent Jurassic representatives."

The description of the new Silurian species was part of a wider investigation into this group of fossils, including several new Jurassic specimens. Modern imaging techniques allowed the scientists to visualise new features, such as the tiny details of the T. brandonensis muscle structure. Based on these images, they created 3D models of the new species, which help us to understand the creature's life habits.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carolin Haug, Derek E G Briggs, Donald G Mikulic, Joanne Kluessendorf, Joachim T Haug. The implications of a Silurian and other thylacocephalan crustaceans for the functional morphology and systematic affinities of the group. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2014; 14 (1): 159 DOI: 10.1186/s12862-014-0159-2

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822084042.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2014, August 22). Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822084042.htm
BioMed Central. "Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822084042.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins