Thursday, 08 December 2011 20:51
The metre-long super predator Anomalocaris. (Credit: Artist's impression by Katrina Kenny/University of Adelaide.)
South Australian Museum and University of Adelaide scientists working on fossils from Kangaroo Island have found eyes belonging to a giant 500 million-year-old marine predator that sat at the top of Earth's first food chain.
This story will be accompanied by an artist's impression of the super predator on the front cover of the December 8, 2011 issue of Nature.
Paleontologists have discovered exceptionally preserved fossil eyes of the top predator in the Cambrian ocean from more than 500 million years ago: the fearsome meter-long Anomalocaris.
The scientists show that the world's first apex predator had highly acute vision, rivaling 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—Environment Institute and School of Earth & Environmental Sciences) and Dr. Jim Jago (SA Museum and UniSA), and was led by Dr. John Paterson (University of New England).