Navigation Links
World's first super predator had remarkable vision
Date:12/7/2011

South Australian Museum and University of Adelaide scientists working on fossils from Kangaroo Island, South Australia, have found eyes belonging to a giant 500 million-year-old marine predator that sat at the top of the earth's first food chain.

This important story will be accompanied by an artist's impression of the super predator on the front cover of the 8 December 2011 issue of Nature.

Palaeontologists have discovered exceptionally preserved fossil eyes of the top predator in the Cambrian ocean from over 500 million years ago: the fearsome metre-long Anomalocaris.

The scientists show that the world's first apex predator had highly acute vision, rivalling or exceeding that of most living insects and crustaceans.

The international team behind this discovery includes two Adelaide researchers, Dr Michael Lee (SA Museum and University of Adelaide) and Dr Jim Jago (SA Museum and UniSA), and was led by Dr John Paterson (University of New England).

The World's Oldest Apex Predator

Anomalocaris is the stuff of nightmares and sci-fi movies. It is considered to be at the top of the earliest food chains because of its large body size, formidable grasping claws at the front of its head and a circular mouth with razor-sharp serrations.

Supporting evidence of this predator's dominance includes damage to contemporaneous trilobites, and even its fossilised poo (or coprolites) containing the remains of its prey.

The discovery of its stalked eyes - showing astonishing details of its optical design - from a 515 million-year-old deposit on Kangaroo Island in South Australia now confirms it had superb vision to support its predatory lifestyle.

All The Better To See You With

The fossils represent compound eyes - the multi-faceted variety seen in arthropods such as flies, crabs and kin - and are amongst the largest to have ever existed, with each eye up to 3 cm in length and containing over 16,000 lenses.

The number of lenses and other aspects of their optical design suggest that Anomalocaris would have seen its world with exceptional clarity whilst hunting in well-lit waters. Only a few arthropods, such as modern predatory dragonflies, have similar resolution.

The existence of highly sophisticated, visual hunters within Cambrian communities would have accelerated the predator-prey 'arms race' that began during this important phase in early animal evolution over half a billion years ago.

The discovery of powerful compound eyes in Anomalocaris confirms it is a close relative of arthropods, and has other far-reaching evolutionary implications. It demonstrates that this particular type of visual organ appeared and was elaborated upon very early during arthropod evolution, originating before other characteristic anatomical structures of this group, such as a hardened exoskeleton and walking legs.


'/>"/>
Contact: Crispin Savage, South Australian Museum
crispin.savage@samuseum.sa.gov.au
61-882-077-431
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. New book reviews ancient and modern worlds of RNA
2. New way to make malaria medicine also first step in finding new antibiotics
3. Complete Genomics launches, becomes worlds first large-scale human genome sequencing company
4. Digital zebrafish embryo provides the first complete developmental blueprint of a vertebrate
5. Synaptics to Report First Quarter Results on October 23
6. Alzheimers disease research attracts first partner
7. Volcanoes may have provided sparks and chemistry for first life
8. Study of polar dinosaur migration questions whether dinosaurs were truly the first great migrators
9. Synaptics Reports Record Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2009
10. First comprehensive genomic study of common cold reveals new treatment targets
11. Scientists achieve first tracking of salmon from headwaters in Rockies through Pacific to Alaska
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
World's first super predator had remarkable vision
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in ... on medical screening and diagnostic applications, such ... devices that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring ... are being bolstered through new opportunities offered ... acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and low ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016   Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced ... Research Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics ... the company,s Snapshot Kinship Inference software ... generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although Snapshot is best ... and ancestry from DNA evidence), it also has ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the ... Joey Fatone . Las Vegas , where ... --> Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at ... The new video ad was filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) ... Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 NX Prenatal Inc., a US ... technology for early warning of adverse pregnancy outcomes, ... study by Dr. Thomas McElrath of ... Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) annual meeting held in ... 2016.  The presentation reported initial positive top-line results ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Wash., Feb. 10, 2016  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications for the treatment of ... today announced its financial results for the second quarter ... 31, 2015. --> ... quarter of fiscal 2016, which ended December 31, 2015, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, ... the promotion of two long-standing principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief ... and Development. , Dr. Laurence Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch ... performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: