A new arthropod dating from the Cambrian has just been described and it rivals one of the oldest known super predators.
Radiodonts are a group of arthropods that developed during the, between 541 and 530 million years ago. Radiodont species have occupied the global ocean and have exhibited diverse forms and behaviors. This group includes, for example, species burrowers, swimming and filter species, as well as super predators, which implies that the multiple species in this group occupied different ecological niches.
The multiple species of this group occupied different ecological niches
Ahas just postponed the description of a new species of giant radiodont, Titanokorys gainesi. The remains were found at the formation level from Burgess Shale in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia. The name of the genus Titanic choir refers to the term , owing to the large size of the central element of the carapace of this species, and that of korys means helmet in Greek. T. gainesi belongs to the group of Hurdiidae which is that of the most diverse radiodonts in .
Like other radio stations, T. gainesi presents aoral composed of several plates adorned with teeth, a pair of frontal appendages and side flaps along the body supporting . This species also has an anterior spine. Its long head is covered by a shell made up of three elements. According to one of the study’s authors, Joseph Moysiuk, the head in this species is so large compared to the rest of the body that individuals were ” little more than swimming heads ».
The carapace of T. gainesi is however larger and more flattened than the average of those of other radiodont species, which suggests to the authors that this species was nectobenthic, that is to say that it swam near the seabed.
A colossus of the seabed
The fascinating aspect of this discovery, as mentioned by the study’s first author, Jean-Bernard Caron, is the size of T. gainesi. He explains that this species is one of the largest Cambrian animals ever to be discovered. Thiscould indeed measure up to 50 centimeters long.
This species is one of the largest Cambrian animals ever to be discovered
It might not seem so big at first glance but this predator has nothing to envy to(also a radiodonte), which approached a meter in length and is believed to be one of the oldest super predators.
According to Jean-Bernard Caron, the enigmatic T. gainesi certainly had a great influence on the Cambrian benthic ecosystem. The colossus T. gainesi, whose shape seems strange among those of present-day animals, shared the Cambrian environment with, among .