Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ancient sea creature one of the weirdest animals ever

Half a meter long, 500 million years old, Hurdia victoria looks like a cross between a lobster and a baleen whale. A big three-part shell projecting from the front of the animal's head gives it a bizarre appearance and puzzles scientists - the carapace looks like it should only get in the way. The carapace does not, as it does in every other arthropod so equipped, protect soft parts of the body. It looked like a hat with earflaps, worn in front of the head instead of on it.
COMMENT: As you can gather from my stabs at description, you really can't visualize this thing until you see the reconstruction. Follow the link and let me know what you think.

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