The Cambrian was such an amazing time in our planet’s history. Chock full of new animals and some of them were quite strange. Always fascinating. This guy really opens up a new view of life back then. And I am sure there are more to come… as long as they keep digging.
‘Massive’ new animal species discovered in half-billion-year-old Burgess Shale
posted on Sep, 8 2021 @ 08:44 PM
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A bit of a clickbaity title, but still a pretty neat discovery out of the Burgess Shale Deposit, a 500 million year old cambrian era shale deposit well known for fossils located in the Rocky Mountains in Yoho and Kootenay national parks in British Columbia.
A, relatively, massive new species of animal is the largest discovered from that time period. It’s estimated to be about 0.5 meters(18″) total in length in a time where most life was only a few inches in size.
and i gotta say this description
Titanokorys had multifaceted eyes, a pineapple slice-shaped, tooth-lined mouth, a pair of spiny claws below its head to capture prey and a body with a series of flaps for swimming.
Those poor finger sized little animals. That thing would be like a T-Rex coming at you.
Palaeontologists at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have uncovered the remains of a huge new fossil species belonging to an extinct animal group in half-a-billion-year-old Cambrian rocks from Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The findings were announced on September 8, 2021, in a study published in Royal Society Open Science.
Named Titanokorys gainesi, this new species is remarkable for its size. With an estimated total length of half a meter, Titanokorys was a giant compared to most animals that lived in the seas at that time, most of which barely reached the size of a pinky finger.
“The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling, this is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found,” says Jean-Bernard Caron, ROM’s Richard M. Ivey Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology.
Evolutionarily speaking, Titanokorys belongs to a group of primitive arthropods called radiodonts. The most iconic representative of this group is the streamlined predator Anomalocaris, which may itself have approached a metre in length. Like all radiodonts, Titanokorys had multifaceted eyes, a pineapple slice-shaped, tooth-lined mouth, a pair of spiny claws below its head to capture prey and a body with a series of flaps for swimming. Within this group, some species also possessed large, conspicuous head carapaces, with Titanokorys being one of the largest ever known.
“Titanokorys is part of a subgroup of radiodonts, called hurdiids, characterized by an incredibly long head covered by a three-part carapace that took on myriad shapes. The head is so long relative to the body that these animals are really little more than swimming heads
All fossils in this study were collected around Marble Canyon in northern Kootenay National Park by successive ROM expeditions. Discovered less than a decade ago, this area has yielded a great variety of Burgess Shale animals dating back to the Cambrian period, including a smaller, more abundant relative of Titanokorys named Cambroraster falcatus in reference to its Millennium Falcon-shaped head carapace. According to the authors, the two species might have competed for similar bottom-dwelling prey.
The Burgess Shale fossil sites are located within Yoho and Kootenay National Parks and are managed by Parks Canada.
This lifted my profound depression a good bit today and I am well pleased that the research continues.