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posted by janrinok on Saturday September 11, @07:07PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Massive new animal species discovered in half-billion-year-old Burgess Shale:

Palaeontologists at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have uncovered the remains of a huge new fossil species belonging to an extinct animal group in half-a-billion-year-old Cambrian rocks from Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The findings were announced on September 8, 2021, in a study published in Royal Society Open Science.

Named Titanokorys gainesi, this new species is remarkable for its size. With an estimated total length of half a meter, Titanokorys was a giant compared to most animals that lived in the seas at that time, most of which barely reached the size of a pinky finger.

"The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling, this is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found," says Jean-Bernard Caron, ROM's Richard M. Ivey Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology.

Evolutionarily speaking, Titanokorys belongs to a group of primitive arthropods called radiodonts. The most iconic representative of this group is the streamlined predator Anomalocaris, which may itself have approached a meter in length. Like all radiodonts, Titanokorys had multifaceted eyes, a pineapple slice-shaped, tooth-lined mouth, a pair of spiny claws below its head to capture prey and a body with a series of flaps for swimming. Within this group, some species also possessed large, conspicuous head carapaces, with Titanokorys being one of the largest ever known.

Journal Reference:
J.-B. Caron, J. Moysiuk. A giant nektobenthic radiodont from the Burgess Shale and the significance of hurdiid carapace diversity, Royal Society Open Science (DOI: 10.1098/rsos.210664)


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, @11:16PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 11, @11:16PM (#1177121)

    Looking at the reconstruction, it's fascinating to see how competition has moved away from drastic armouring of the larger predators.

    Also, here's hoping the Burgess oil & gas permits are all denied and revoked. Or we could destroy this uniquely dense fossil source for a tiny bit of short term, climate destroying profit. Whatever, either way!

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by khallow on Sunday September 12, @12:04AM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 12, @12:04AM (#1177129) Journal

      Also, here's hoping the Burgess oil & gas permits are all denied and revoked. Or we could destroy this uniquely dense fossil source for a tiny bit of short term, climate destroying profit. Whatever, either way!

      A tiny bit of short term, climate tweaking profit that just happens to help almost eight billion people. Not much point to talking vaguely about "fossil sources" while ignoring why we extract oil and natural gas in the first place - to make the world a better place.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @05:55PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @05:55PM (#1177256)

        climate tweaking profit that just happens to help almost eight billion people

        I don't know how you think oil & gas companies help 8b people. They help their investors.

        I don't know how you think climate change helps 8b people. The poor among them are disproportionately harmed, while the rich have financial instruments that can leverage the volatility for profit.

        we extract oil and natural gas [...] to make the world a better place

        I spy the fool at the table, if you genuinely believe that.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday September 13, @01:15AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 13, @01:15AM (#1177342) Journal

          I don't know how you think oil & gas companies help 8b people.

          [...]

          I don't know how you think climate change helps 8b people.

          So we have oil & gas companies and we have some degree of climate change in that comprehensive of yours, but what we're missing is that oil & gas itself. That's the thing that helps eight billion people.

          The poor among them are disproportionately harmed

          The oil & gas make those poor less poor and hence, less disproportionately harmed.

          we extract oil and natural gas [...] to make the world a better place

          I spy the fool at the table, if you genuinely believe that.

          Notice first, that the item missing from your list above was stated here. It's like I actually thought about what you were going to write before you wrote it. So who again is the fool at the table?

      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Mockingbird on Sunday September 12, @09:23PM (1 child)

        by Mockingbird (15239) on Sunday September 12, @09:23PM (#1177309)

        That is why we extract oil and gas? I always thought it was the "climate destroying profit." Hard to tell one from t'other.

        --
        "It is a sin to kill a mockingbird" Atticus Finch
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday September 13, @01:34AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 13, @01:34AM (#1177345) Journal
          The point is not the extraction, it's the use. We aren't using those fossil fuels for transportation and energy because we like destroying the climate, whatever that is supposed to mean.
  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @01:22AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, @01:22AM (#1177145)

    whip it
    whip it good!

    I can smell your cunt.

  • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by sgleysti on Sunday September 12, @04:14PM (6 children)

    by sgleysti (56) on Sunday September 12, @04:14PM (#1177235)

    Does anyone else think the name of this national park (Kootenay) sounds vaguely like a euphemism for something sexual?

    Deep thoughts—I know.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Monday September 13, @04:24AM (5 children)

      by dry (223) on Monday September 13, @04:24AM (#1177363) Journal

      No, sounds like the name of the people who lived there when the settlers showed up.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday September 13, @02:16PM (4 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 13, @02:16PM (#1177415) Journal

        Except, the settlers never really showed up. The Burgess Shale is remote, with almost no people around the area; rather like the entire rest of Canada, actually.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday September 14, @12:42AM (3 children)

          by dry (223) on Tuesday September 14, @12:42AM (#1177558) Journal

          The Kootenays are a big region, basically the whole SE of BC. Kootenay lake itself is fairly big.

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday September 14, @03:16AM (2 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 14, @03:16AM (#1177593) Journal

            Yes, but the article says Kootenay National Park. We used to go up there in the summers with my father to hunt for fossils in the Burgess Shale. Nearly nobody lives around there. It's a beautiful area, like that part of the Canadian Rockies is, but Canadians seem to only want to cluster along the American border instead of in that eden.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday September 16, @05:36AM (1 child)

              by dry (223) on Thursday September 16, @05:36AM (#1178197) Journal

              Ok, I didn't read the article. Most of that area is beautiful though I never made it that far east.

              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday September 16, @03:56PM

                by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 16, @03:56PM (#1178297) Journal

                It's worth a visit. In the summer you can often see the Northern Lights. Lake Louise is also gorgeous, though they've started restricting access to it so that the wealthy staying at the lodge on the lake don't have to contend with the rabble.

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
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