Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lyrarapax.

Lyrarapax is a new anomalocarid described on July 16, 2014. It’s the first known fossil of an anomalocarid that preserved the brain. The muscles of the swimming lobes are also preserved in the fossils. The study was published in the journal Nature, but I didn’t have access to the full article, only the abstract.

©lifebeforethedinosaurs.com

The fossils are from the Chengjiang biota of China and preserve the neural system and brain. The brain of Lyrarapax is very similar to a velvet worm’s brain. There have been some papers published speculating that anomolacarids might have been related to priapulids or certain other groups of worms. However, it was generally accepted that they were either arthropods or onychophorans (velvet worms), and these Lyrarapax fossils give really strong evidence for that.

©lifebeforethedinosaurs.com
My illustration of the head of Lyrarapax showing the brain and neural system.

Lyrarapax was only about 8cm long and did not have the fantail seen in some anomalocarids. Its claws were positioned horizontally, similar to Anomalocaris saron’s claws. In my opinion, Lyrarapax is similar to Amplectobelua, because the first pair of swimming lobes are very large, and the spine closest to the base of the claw is long and skinny. 



References:


6 comments:

  1. It's great to see you blogging again! Great sketches of a fascinating find, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good to see you back!
    Thanks for the info and especially for the artwork.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice to see a new post. If you are interested I can provide you with Nature login details to that you can access the full paper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I really want to read that paper.

      Delete
  4. This is an awesome blog, well done.

    My 9 year old son has recently started his own animal blog and he loves what you've done here.

    His blog is http://haydensanimalfacts.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great that you are interested in this type of work! Contact me if you still want the fulltext of that paper on Lyrarapax. my email: liuyuzac@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete