New fossil evidence uncovered from ancient sea beds in the Moroccan desert is causing scientists to revise their conclusions on a predaceous shrimp-like creature that ruled the waters for millions of years, LiveScience reports.
Anomalocaridids — soft-jointed monsters sporting pointy backs of flexible blades and mouths full of sharp teeth — sat at the top of the food chain for millions of years longer than previously thought, scientists say following the discovery of remains dating back to the early Ordovician era. It was previously thought the creatures had died out toward the end of the Cambrian age.
What’s more, the newly discovered specimens are a lot larger than their longer-lived cousins: 3 feet long, to be exact.
“The Moroccan specimens are the largest anomalocaridids known to date,” said paleontologist Peter Van Roy.