Sep 9, 2021

Huge new fossil species uncovered in Canada

Posted by in category: evolution

Half-billion-year-old critter belonged to an extinct group of animals.

Palaeontologists have dug up a brand new animal species from the Cambrian era, more than 500 million years ago. Remarkably, Titanokorys gainesi was about half a metre long – which is giant compared to most of the other, pinky-finger-sized species alive at the time.

“The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling,” says Jean-Bernard Caron, from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Canada. “This is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found.”

The Cambrian period spanned from around 541 to 485 million years ago. It was a critical time in the evolution of life on Earth because it marked a massive explosion in diversity, with most of the major groups of animals we know today emerging, from arthropods and molluscs to echinoderms and chordates (us).

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