Strange Fossil Filter Feeder Was an Ancient Survivor
Paleontologist Jakob Vinther pointed to a rust-colored boulder sitting on the black lab table. “What do you think that is?”, he asked. I hadn’t a clue. I was used to looking at bones – often really big saurian bones – and I couldn’t pick out any endoskeletal signs in the stone. It was mostly the fossil’s size that struck me. Whatever it was, the specimen was almost as big as me. I shrugged and opened my mouth to hazard a guess, hoping that some shot in the dark would get me close to the answer, but Vinther spoke before I did. “That”, he said, “is a giant anomalocaridid.”
There’s no standardized common name for these early animals.