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Anomalocaris was a bit of a softy

  • 03-11-2010 10:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean

    It was our first ever creature of the week. Back then we described it as the world's first apex predator, but it appears the mighty Anomalocaris was actually a bit of a softy...
    We're basically saying that Anomalocaris may not have been the king of the jungle," Hagadorn said.

    "That doesn't mean it's not a really cool fossil ... but all the popular animations and videos that show it ferociously swimming through the oceans and ripping apart hapless trilobites may need to be reevaluated."
    Weak Jaws Couldn't Crack a Shrimp

    The computer model of Anomalocaris' mouth showed it was not capable of cracking the soft shell of a modern shrimp—let alone the harder shells of most trilobite species.

    In fact, it couldn't even fully close its mouth, according to the new research, which Hagadorn presented this week at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.

    So while Anomalocaris may have been able to suck up very small or freshly molted— and thus soft—trilobites, "it had no chance in heck of biting through about 95 percent of trilobite shells. Its mouth would have broken first," Hagadorn said.

    More here.

    Image by Marvin Mattelson