crab") is the largest known predator of Burgess Shale
fauna. The anterior appendages were
a crustacean's abdomen and later reinterpreted to be a set of
paired limbs from a giant arthropod. The circular mouthparts
were originally named as the jellyfish Peytoia. More
complete specimens revealed the true nature of this strange predator. The
head had two large eyes and two grasping arms. The body was covered
with overlapping flap-like structures and the tail adorned with
an erect fan-like structure. Its mouth resembled a “pineapple
ring” constructed of overlapping plates and serrated prongs
possibly good for crushing prey. Anomalocaris grew up
to 1 meter long and is thought to be an arthropod (Selden & Nudds,
2004, pp. 25-26).
P. & Nudds, J. (2004). Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems.
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.