Creature with 50 legs was top seafloor predator

Published on November 9th, 2011 | by Admin


A new fossil of a foot-long 50-legged creature which lived 500-million-years ago has been found in Canada.

Reporting the discovery Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers led by Nicholas Minter of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada suggest that Tegopelte was a fearsome predator or perhaps a quick-moving scavenger, capable of “rapidly skimming across the seafloor” with only a few of its many legs touching the ground at a time.

The new fossils, five trackways made by the ancient arthropod, were uncovered in two locations in Yoho National Park in British Columbia in a geologic formation called the Burgess Shale. The longest track extended more than 9 feet, and the footprints were set more than 4 inches apart, suggesting a good-sized critter with a wide stance.

[Full story]

Story: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience | Photo: Marianne Collins

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