In DepthPaleontology

Fossils show large predator prowled Cambrian sediments

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Science  02 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6452, pp. 417
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6452.417

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Summary

In the summer of 2018, paleontologists hammering away at 500-million-year-old rocks high in the Canadian Rockies turned up hundreds of specimens of an unknown but evidently hyperabundant creature. With a hand-size carapace that looks like it was sketched out in science fiction concept art, the diggers nicknamed it "the spaceship." Now, they've given the creature its first scientific description and a name: Cambroraster falcatus—after the famed Millennium Falcon starship from Star Wars. One specimen preserved the entire creature, showing a carapace with two eyes peeking out from either side, trailed by soft, undulating flaps to help it swim. This ship—one of the largest known animals of its day to churn up the sea floor—sailed in fleets over muddy ocean sediments, using its unusual claws in the hunt for small prey.

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