Giant shrimp with ultra-vision was first top predator

Published on December 8th, 2011 | by Sevaan Franks

0
Untitled-15

A fossil of an Anomalocaris (which means “strange shrimp”) has been found with exceptionally well-preserved eyes. [Thx Catherine!]

The eyes were on stalks on the strange shrimp’s head, and each was 2 to 3 centimetres across – about the size of an olive. They were covered with lenses, each 70 to 110 micrometres in diameter. That means each eye had at least 16,000 lenses.

“Very few modern animals, particularly arthropods, have eyes as sophisticated as this,” says Paterson. Houseflies, for instance, have a mere 3000 lenses. The only comparable species are some predatory dragonflies that have up to 28,000 lenses in each eye.

Anomalocaris’s acute eyesight probably allowed it to seek out its prey in the brightly lit upper layers of the ocean.

[Full story]

Story: Michael Marshall, NewScientist | Photo: Katrina Kenny/University of Adelaide

Tags: , , , ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Follow me on Twitter!   Subscribe to my RSS feed!
     
  • Question of the Moment

    Next month is the 195th anniversary of the birth of Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, historically considered by many to be the great American novel. From the list below, my favorite novel is:

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Like us on Facebook

  • Sponsors

  • Random Quote

    History is written by the victors. — Winston Churchill

  • Popular Categories

  • Archives