500 million-year-old Prickly Bugs Discovered

ancient prickly bugs 9Yet another new species discovered. Paleontologists uncovered 11 complete fossils of a slug-like creature. It has prickly armor and a muscular foot predicted to have been using for scooting along the ocean floor more than 500 million years ago.

The creature lacked any eyes or limbs. It likely to have scooted along the ocean bottom at the pace of a snail.

Half the size of a potato bug, the newly found creature is called Orthrozanclus reburrus. It had a front shell and long spines, which covered its entire body with a border of shorter spines along the edges.

Has this creature evolved to the modern-day mollusks such as clams and squid? These are found in fossil beds — Burgess Shale — surrounded by mountains in British Columbia. The newly found body-armored animals are rare.

Jean-Bernard Baron of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada said,

Paleontologists have been frustrated for decades, finding these little shell-y parts without any idea of what it could be.

So until you find a complete organism, you have absolutely no idea what those parts are. It’s like a Martian coming to our planet and finding a tiny bit of armor and wondering what it is. If the Martian finds a complete armor, he could say that was used for defense.

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