World’s First Super Predator Had Remarkable Vision

Palaeontologists have discovered exceptionally preserved fossil eyes of the top predator in the Cambrian ocean over 500 million years ago – the fearsome metre-long Anomalocaris.

Anomalocaris (Credit: Katrina Kenny / University of Adelaide)

The international team behind this discovery includes ACEBB researcher, Dr. Michael Lee (SA Museum and University of Adelaide) as well as Adelaide researcher Dr. Jim Jago (SA Museum and UniSA), and was led by Dr. John Paterson (University of New England).

They show that the world’s first apex predator had highly acute vision,rivalling or exceeding that of most living insects and crustaceans.

This exciting find will be published as the cover story in the prestigious journal Nature today.

The paper is Acute vision in the giant Cambrian predator Anomalocaris and the origin of compound eyes. Nature 480(7376): 237-240 (published Dec 8, 2011 doi:10.1038/nature10689)

You can view the full Media Release here.

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