For the first time, fossils found in the Canadian Rocky Mountains' Burgess Shale have been used to ascertain descriptions of a new species of lobopodian.
The new species is an animal with worm-like features and soft legs, and it is estimated to be approximately 485 million to 541 million years old, dating back to the Cambrian period.Dubbed Ovatiovermis cribratus, the new species is being detailed this week via publication BMC Evolutionary Biology, the well known, open access journal.
Royal Ontario Museum's senior curator of invertebrate paleontology, Jean-Bernard Caron, was the lead author of the study in which these details were published on the new species.
Caron says: "Ovatiovermis is no longer than my thumb with all limbs stretched out and is only known from two specimens.However, this new species provides fantastic new insights into the ecology and relationship of lobopodians, a group of mainly Cambrian marine invertebrates which are key to our understanding of modern tardigrades, onychoporans, and the largest group of animals on Earth—the arthropods."
There is a consensus among the research team that strong, recurved claws on back limbs helped Ovatiovermis anchor itself to hard surfaces much like other lobopodian species.It also allows them to stand upright to a certain extent.
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