Researchers Discover Giant Animal From Half A Billion Years Ago


Remnants of a sizeable new fossil species that belongs to an ancient animal group were discovered in the Kootenay National Parkby researchers at the Royal Ontario Museum. The fossils were found in rock that was half a billion years old. The results of research released by the Royal Society Open Science were disclosed on September 8.

The newfound creature, called Titanokorys gainesi, is exceptional in size. Titanokorys was an approximated half a meter colossus, longer than most of the creatures living in the waters of the period, which mostly were barely pink finger dimensions.

“These enigmatic animals certainly had a big impact on Cambrian seafloor ecosystems. Their limbs at the front looked like multiple stacked rakes and would have been very efficient at bringing anything they captured in their tiny spines towards the mouth. The huge dorsal carapace might have functioned like a plough,” explained Dr. Caron, Associate Professor in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Why a range of skull carapace forms and sizes has developed from certain radiodontos is yet unclear and is probably due to many reasons, but the large, flattened shape of Titanokorys shows that this species has been suited for living in the vicinity of the floor of the sea. The enormity of this species is utterly striking; it is one of the largest creatures ever unearthed in Cambrian times.

In Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, the Burgess Shale relic locations are run and are administered by Parks Canada. Parks Canada is delighted to partner with renowned scientists to increase learning and insight of this important geological time and to showcase these places with the public via supervised walks. Parks Canada Due to the great global importance of the Burgess Shale, it was named World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980 and today forms part of Canadians’ broader Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.