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Scientists discover fossil of giant ancient sea predator
Date:5/25/2011

cludes thousands of examples of soft-bodied marine fauna dating back to the early Ordovician period, 488 to 472 million years ago. Because hard shells fossilize and are preserved more readily than soft tissue, scientists had an incomplete and biased view of the marine life that existed during the Ordovician period before the recent discoveries in Morocco. The animals found in Morocco inhabited a muddy sea floor in fairly deep water, and were trapped by sediment clouds that buried them and preserved their soft bodies.

"The new discoveries in Morocco indicate that animals characteristic of the Cambrian, such as the anomalocaridids, continued to have a considerable impact on the biodiversity and ecology of marine communities many millions of years later," Van Roy said.

The paper appears in the May 26 issue of the journal Nature.


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Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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