Ancient oceans’ top predator was gentle filter feeder

Fossils suggest distant lobster relative used bristled limbs to net prey, not spike it

By Ashley Yeager, 13:26 PM March 26, 2014

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Some of the largest early animals may have used spiny limbs to filter their food rather than impale it.

Fossils found in northern Greenland suggest that, like other predators 520 million years ago, Tamisiocaris borealis, a distant lobster relative, had two long, spiny limbs that jutted out from its face. But unlike other predators, T. borealis’ limbs also had bristles: The appendages’ long, equally spaced, slender spines were covered in much finer, denser ones.

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