Facts about Anomalocaris, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Anomalocaris



Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Superphylum Ecdysozoa
  (unranked) Panarthropoda
  Phylum Lobopodia
  Class Dinocaridida
  Order Radiodonta
  Family Anomalocarididae
  Genus Anomalocaris
Anomalocaris is a bizarre extinct animal that lived during the Cambrian period. Its fossils were found in the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia, Canada.

Anomalocaris is thought to have been a predator, and may have preyed upon Trilobites. It has been noted that Trilobites have upward facing eyes, which would have been useful for detecting a predator such as Anomalocaris swimming above them (indeed, such eyes would not have evolved without a pressing need for them).

Anomalocaris was a giant animal for its time, about 2 to 3 feet (60 centimeters to 1 meter) long. It had segmented body, and was able to propel itself through the water by undulating a series of flexible by overlapping lobes on each side of its body. It had a large head, a pair of eyes, and a mouth constructed of 32 overlapping plates and containing a series of serrated prongs. In front of its mouth were large arms with barbed-spikes which presumably were used to capture prey.

Because of its strange nature, there had been quite a lot of debate about how to classify Anomalocaris. Arguments have been made for considering to be an arthopod (the group containing insects, crustaceans, millipedes, etc.), or at least closely related to Arthropods, and today it usually consider to be a lobopod, a group of segmented worms believed to be related to Arthropods.

Anomalocaris Timeline:

Anomalocaris was a strange marine animal that lived during the Cambrian period

Anomalocaris was a strange marine animal that lived during the Cambrian period

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