3 Samples of New Species of Anomalocarids Unearthed in China

3 Samples of New Species of Anomalocarids Unearthed in China

Fossils from a Cambrian era deposit in China have unveiled about three samples of a new species of Anomalocarids. The samples were so well preserved that researchers could even see the animals' nerves.

Brain's structure indicates resemblance for two different types of organisms. The novel species, Lyrarapax unguispinus, is a small anomalocarid as it is around 8 cm in length. Its unique features include neck, large compound eyes and large frontal appendages. The appendages were a bit different as these were more like claws.

The species also has two big segments just past the neck that look like fins of dolphins. Though these features are quite interesting, researchers said it was the inside part of the animal body that was quite striking.

Researchers were able to identify things like the optic nerve extending into the compound eyes and ganglia that process information for different parts of body and animal's brain. International researchers said such a kind of setting is akin to the structure of velvet worms. In velvet worms also, a nerve cord runs down the appendages with a large ganglia between it and the animal's brain.

Researchers said the organization places the anomalocarids on that branch of animal tree that led to the velvet worms. Everything is not sorted yet as researchers found similarities with modern arthropods, the labrum, as well.

Now, researchers have to decide where the anomalocarids should be fit on the animal family tree? Researcher Peiyun Cong at Yunnan University in China said most anomalocaridid specimens found in the past were not well preserved. Therefore, it was difficult to assign them into a specific tree of life. But such a thing did not happen with the recently unearthed fossils.

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