"Almost half a billion years ago, the largest animal on Earth was a 2-meter-long, helmet-headed sea creature that fed on some of the ocean’s tiniest prey. The newly described species is one of the largest arthropods yet discovered, a class of animals that includes spiders and crabs."
Scientists have recently uncovered a new species of arthropods from 480-million-year-old rock found in Morocco. At one point, scientists say that this water creature was the largest animal to exist on the planet, measuring up to two meters long. The species has been named Aegirocassis benmoulae; Aegir meaning God of the sea in Norse mythology, cassis stemming from the Latin word for helmet, and benmoulae recognizing the Moroccan collector who first stumbled upon the fossils. This pivotal discovery now allows scientists to fill in previous gaps regarding arthropod evolution and draw many conclusions, such as the development of arthropod limbs.
Author: Sid Perkins
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Loyola University Maryland Scientista Website Coordinator