Anomalocaris is an extinct genus of arthropod that lived during the Cambrian in North America, Australia and China.

Discovery Edit

The holotype Anomalocaris fossil was discovered by Joseph Frederick Whiteaves in 1892. More different species were discovered later, many of which are disputed being separate from previous specimens.

Description Edit

Anomalocaris had an armored body with large plates that resemble fins that undulate. Behind the large tail fan, are large steering fins that flow out the back of the arthropod.

Anomalocaris has large eyes with about 16, 000 lenses in each eye which would have, 1.2 centimeters per eye resolution. The eyes are mounted on stocks and were 30 times as powerful as those of a trilobite.

On the top of each armor plate, would probably be gills. On the front of the face, Anomalocaris would have had large limbs used for carrying prey towards its large mouth.

The grasping limbs were barbed and the mouth consisted of sharp plates that could crush prey when they contracted. It is noted that the mouth could never fully close.

Anomalocaris' mouth functioned like a wood chipper; grinding its food into small, digestible chunks of flesh.

Paleoecology Edit

The anatomy of the Anomalocaris was designed to crush the shells of smaller arthropods that existed at that time. The Anomalocaris was the top predator of the Cambrian oceans, and was driven into extinction due to changing temperatures.

References Edit

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