The Virtual Petrified Wood Museum.  Dedicated to the Exhibition and Educational Study of Permineralized Plant Material
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Anomalocaris Reconstruction
Michelle Bakay after Graham Rosewarne
Burgess Shale

Anomalocaris ("strange crab") is the largest known predator of Burgess Shale fauna. The anterior appendages were originally thought to be 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).

Selden P. & Nudds, J. (2004). Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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