Feeds

back to article Eyes on stalks: ancient predator a real monster

A group of scientists working on fossils from Kangaroo Island in South Australia has turned up a Cambrian predator with horror-movie specs: razor serrations in a circular mouth, claws at the front of its head, and compound eyes on stalks. Taagged Anomalocaris (roughly “irregular shrimp”, or perhaps “abnormal shrimp”), the meter- …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge
Happy

I, for one

Yes, let's bring this AND the mammoth back....mmm, mmm, good.

5
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Yes, please!

I'll get started building a bigger grill, a much bigger grill.

Now then, let's start with metal suppliers, rebar...

5
0
Silver badge
Happy

No, no. I'm going Chinese.

All I need is a 2 cubic metre capacity deep-fryer, 1.5 cubic metres of soya oil, 200 litres of batter and possibly 50 litres or so of sweet n' sour sauce. Oh, and about 250 kg of fried rice - anyone got a *really* big wok I can borrow?

3
0
Silver badge
Coat

Are you sure Arctic fox?

You'll be hungry again in 30 minutes.

3
0
Silver badge

Metre-long

But big specimens grew up to 2m. So plenty of shrimp for all, then.

1
0
Alert

It looks...

...rather squamous & rugose to me.

Altogether far too non-euclidian.

Must remember to avoid Emu Bay, especially when the stars are right.

10
0

It wasn't discovered by Randolph Carter was it?!

1
0

Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!

1
0
Bronze badge

Extinct!

Obviously the early humans killed it off.

3
0
Silver badge

@JeffyPooh

Obviously ancient Aussies REALLY knew how to put another shrimp on the barbie!!

7
0

GaboonViper67

That's an awesome looking creature. God sure had a great imagination.

5
12
Devil

no...

... he was on acid while he "intelligently designed" this one.

13
0
Silver badge
Linux

fallible human artist's impression

It was actually pink with stripes. You know, like modern shrimp.

http://images.aquaria.net/invertebrates/crustaceans/shrimp/Cherry_Red/DSCF0006.jpg

Apart from stuff getting smaller or dying out, has anything changed since before records began?

0
0
Ru
Angel

Dunno about that great

Cos somehow this marine animal died in the great flood along with the dinosaurs. Seems like a slightly ropey design to me.

0
0
Boffin

Problems....

Well if $DEITY did design it he couldn’t have been 500 million years ago because some followers of $DEITY believe that the earth was created only 6,000 years ago over a six-day period.

Which explains why it is extinct, obviously 6,000 year old aussi’s hunted it to extinction, probably no doubt mounted on dinosaurs with saddles – see the Creation “Museum” near Petersburg, Kentucky

I'd love to know why GaboonViper67's post got so many downvotes

1
0
Bronze badge

Wasn't god

permanently on acid. It would explain pretty much everything.

1
0

"I'd love to know why GaboonViper67's post got so many downvotes"

These forums don't seem to get sarcasm.

Even the upvoters might have been creationists?

2
0

"Apart from stuff getting smaller or dying out, has anything changed since before records began?"

Well, we're pretty confident that a lot has changed. We're just not sure what as we have no records...

1
0
Boffin

Caris = claw

It wasn't "turned up" at Kangaroo Island, the first specimens were found in the Burgess Shales decades ago. It was sometime in the 1980s that someone worked out that what had been classified as pieces of four distinct animals were in fact the same thing. Sadly, the rules of scientific nomenclature required the complete thing to get the earliest name associated with any of the pieces-- which was an isolated weird-looking claw, thus "strange claw". It doesn't really do the thing justice.

And those are hardly even the most interesting eyes in the Cambrian. Check out Opabinia, which has 5, count 'em, FIVE eyes, all on stalks.

8
0

this

Also "it’s the first time a fossil has shown sufficient surface detail to prove that it had compound eyes"?

I thought we already had plenty of trilobites showing evidence of compound eyes?

1
0

Indeed.

They feature very big in S.J. Gould's book on the Burgess Shale, "Wonderful life". A good (&) introductory read.

0
0

Wonderful Life was a fantastic book!

The article reminded me a bit of a fun SF novel called Fragment by Warren Fahy, featuring terrestrial mantis shrimp. Yoiks!

0
0

An old discovery, well described in existing literature

There's a great, very accessible description of the discovery and analysis of the Burgess Shale fossils in "Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History " by Stephen Jay Gould. As well as Anomalocaris and Opabinia there are a host of other "alternative designs" which worked perfectly well in their environment, before changes led to a mass extinction.

0
0
Happy

Wonderful Life is wonderful

Indeed, that's the very book that got me out of my dinosaur phase and hooked on much more interesting paleontology. It's aged pretty well, too-- IIRC, the only part that's seriously wrong now is the section on Hallucigenia, which, thanks to some better-preserved fossils found in China in the '90s, turns out to be relatively normal-looking (at least as Cambrian fauna goes).

0
0
RW
Facepalm

Gould's Hallucigenia mistake

Gould later published an article in Natural History in which he owned up to his mistake in "Wonderful LIfe." That article was later put between covers, in "Bully for Brontosaurus" iirc.

0
0
Thumb Up

But how did they taste?

I would love to barbecue some shrimp steaks. Oh ya baby!

1
0
Bronze badge

Chicken

They all taste like chicken.

9
0

What was it's alignment, and how many hit points did it have?

6
0

Neutral Evil and lots

1
0
Bronze badge

Stats

It is clearly NE, with 120hp and AC 0. A roll of 20 is automatic death for the opponent when fighting the creature under water.

2
0

Fireball the bastard

Then tuck in.

1
0

Fireball doesn't work under water. SLOW would probably work but why bother it's probably got magic resistance anyway. So caste haste on the fighters and get to the back ASAP. Of course this ,very cool to know that we had such fucked up creatures in the past as an aside, is probably a high level adventure so we will have an Assassin, in which case invisibility, aiery water, haste and fly will do the trick.

0
0
Pint

Is anyone else not surprised this was found in Australia?

3
0

Australia is probably the continent that wants to kill humans more.

1
0
Thumb Up

Real live CGI

You can see 'em swimming around in David Attenborough's First Life (http://firstlifeseries.com/).

0
0
Jad
Thumb Up

Survival of the Fittest ...

I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not survival of the fittest, but survival of the sort of fittest and most adaptable ...

otherwise that would surely have been our ancestor, and I'd have better eyesight :)

0
0
Ru
Boffin

That's only because

You have a poor conception of what 'fittest' means. Don't feel bad, almost everyone has the same misconceptions.

There'd be no guarantee of better eyesight, but I'm pretty certain that grinding a 10000-facet corrective lens would cos a fair bit more than you might generally spend in an opticians...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

@a_been, You're wrong

Animals tend to be Neutral (or I guess Unaligned in this new fangled 4th edition gubbins).

I'll get my coat. It's the one with the dice

0
0
Boffin

Yes but

Yes but this is clearly some underwater creature that can fuck you up and it is a rule that all underwater creature that can fuck you up, hate the sun, are NE and are intelligent in a way "no humanoid can understand".

0
0
Thumb Up

Just waiting now...

...for the low budget SyFy channel movie version "MegaShrimp Vs. (insert other animal name here)".

1
0

Sci-Fi book on this beast already written

Check out "Fragment" by William Fahy for what this guy could have evolved into give a few hundred million years of isolation.

0
0

I see as movie in the works

but they'll have to come up with a better title than "Shrimp".

0
0

≠shrimp

Death Prawn?

2
0
Silver badge
Happy

RE: "I see as movie in the works"

"Claws" perhaps? Or maybe "Resident Crustacean"?

0
0

Isnt

the Peacock shrimp a strict descendant today? The Peacock mantiss is a fierce predator with the fastest movement in the world. It has a huge hammer which it releases to kill prey, the force of a .22 pistol it is said. There are several videos on Youtube with this little s*cker attacking prey with its hammer. Some of the Peacock mantisses have a spear instead of a hammer.

Talking about fierce predators, among the fiercest on earth today, is probably the honey badger. Now THAT is a nasty little s*cker that even lions avoid. It attacks everything. Watch on youtube and you will understand. The same little animal in the movie "The Gods must be crazy". Really really ferocious.

0
0
RW
Boffin

The Badass Honey Badger

If you want to watch a Youtube video of the honey badger, go to "Badass honey badger", which has a fairly amusing re-do of the narration dubbed in.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Lovecraft would be proud.

2
0
Devil

This is what came to mind when giant shrimp with claws was mentioned:

http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/06/19

1
0
Alien

Terror from the Deep

Can it survive the damage from a hit by a Sonic Blasta Gun? Is it vulnerable to Molecular Control attacks?

Sincerely,

A newbie XCOM aquanaut

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.