Scientists Find Fossils of Giant Prehistoric Sea Creature- A ‘Shocking Discovery’

Newly discovered fossils of a giant, extinct sea creature show it had modified legs, gills on its back, and a filter system for feeding — providing key evidence about the early evolution of arthropods.


And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good – Genesis 1:21 (KJV).


The new animal, named Aegirocassis benmoulae in honor of its discoverer, Mohamed Ben Moula, attained a size of at least seven feet, ranking it among the biggest arthropods that ever lived. It was found in southeastern Morocco and dates back some 480 million years.

The fossils were found in the Fezouata Biota formation region of central Anti-Atlas in Morocco (marked)

“Aegirocassis is a truly remarkable looking creature,” said Yale University paleontologist Derek Briggs, co-author of a Nature paper describing the animal. “We were excited to discover that it shows features that have not been observed in older Cambrian anomalocaridids — not one but two sets of swimming flaps along the trunk, representing a stage in the evolution of the two-branched limb, characteristic of modern arthropods such as shrimps.”

Briggs is the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. First author Peter Van Roy, an associate research scientist at Yale, led the research; Allison Daley of the University of Oxford is co-author.

Dr Allison Daley, from Oxford University said: ‘This would have been one of the largest animals alive at the time. While filter-feeding is probably one of the oldest ways for animals to find food, previous filter-feeders were smaller, and usually attached to the sea-floor.’ The fossil’s individual parts are annotated above.

Since their first appearance in the fossil record 530 million years ago, arthropods have been the most species-rich and morphologically diverse animal group on Earth. They include such familiar creatures as horseshoe crabs, scorpions, spiders, lobsters, butterflies, ants, and beetles.

Their success is due in large part to the way their bodies are constructed: They have a hard exoskeleton that is molted during growth, and their bodies and legs are made up of multiple segments. Each segment can be modified separately for different purposes, allowing arthropods to adapt to every environment and mode of life.

Modern lobsters grow to around 19 in (50cm) and modern whales average at 79ft (25 metres)- PHOTO DAILY MAIL 

Modern arthropod legs, in their most basic form, have two branches. Each is highly modified to cater to a specific function on that leg, such as locomotion, sensing its surroundings, respiration, or copulation; or it has been lost altogether. Understanding how these double-branched limbs evolved has been a major question for scientists.

Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps- Psalm 148:7 (KJV).

A long-extinct group of arthropods, the anomalocaridids, is considered central to the answer. The youngest known anomalocaridids are 480 million years old, and all of them looked quite alien: They had a head with a pair of grasping appendages and a circular mouth surrounded by toothed plates.

A giant filter-feeding ‘lobster’ (illustrated) took the place of whales 480 million years ago, a new fossil find has shown.

Their elongate, segmented bodies carried lateral flaps that they used for swimming. Until now, it was believed that anomalocaridids had only one set of flaps per trunk segment, and that they may have lost their walking legs completely.

But the recent discovery of Aegirocassis benmoulae tells another story. The new animal shows that anomalocaridids in fact had two separate sets of flaps per segment. The upper flaps were equivalent to the upper limb branch of modern arthropods, while the lower flaps represent modified walking limbs, adapted for swimming.

So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts – Psalm 104:26 (KJV).

Frontal appendages of the Aegirocassis benmoulae fossil. (Image source: YouTube)

Furthermore, a re-examination of older anomalocaridids showed that these flaps also were present in other species, but had been overlooked. These findings show that anomalocaridids represent a stage before the fusion of the upper and lower branches into the double-branched limb of modern arthopods.

“It was while cleaning the fossil that I noticed the second, dorsal set of flaps,” said Van Roy, who spent hundreds of hours working on the specimens. “It’s fair to say I was in shock at the discovery, and its implications. It once and for all resolves the debate on where anomalocaridids belong in the arthropod tree, and clears up one of the most problematic aspects of their anatomy.”

Frontal appendages of the Aegirocassis benmoulae fossil.

Aegirocassis benmoulae is also remarkable from an ecological standpoint, note the researchers. While almost all other anomalocaridids were active predators that grabbed their prey with their spiny head limbs, the Moroccan fossil has head appendages that are modified into an intricate filter-feeding apparatus. This means that the animal could harvest plankton from the oceans.

“Giant filter-feeding sharks and whales arose at the time of a major plankton radiation, and Aegirocassis represents a much, much older example of this — apparently overarching — trend,” Van Roy said.

Source:  Yale News

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PROPHECY:  

“…many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” – Daniel 12:4 (KJV).   

Evolution False Theories:  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men – 2 Peter 3:3-7 (KJV).

In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea- Isaiah 27:1 (KJV).

And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them- Amos 9:3 (KJV).


Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters – Psalm 74:13 (KJV).

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