The impressive file of a giant sea creature, a trilobite, was found in South Australia. The animal was quite remarkable, measuring 30 centimeters in length and fitted with powerful spines which may have been used to facilitate the crushing and shredding of food. The trilobite, classified under the scientific name of Redlichia rex, would have been a giant among his peers due to its impressive size. Some data suggests that the creature may have had cannibalistic tendencies, perceiving smaller trilobites as an excellent source of food.
Studies have shown that contemporary crustaceans (among which we can count crabs and lobsters), select insect types and some of the oldest animals are related to trilobites. Due to their abundance trilobites play an essential role in research which seeks to understand more about the Cambrian explosion, a phenomenon which led to the mass appearance of most major animal groups approximately 540 million years ago. The first trilobites surfaced almost 520 million years ago, and they survived for 270 million years ago.
Giant Sea Creature Found By Australian Scientists in South Australia
A valuable amount of data related to the Cambrian explosions comes from a series of exceptional deposits known as Konservat-Lagerstätten (which means conservation storage-space in German). This type of deposits is famous for the ability to preserve soft parts such as eyes, muscles, and guts. In the case of regular deposits, only the hard parts remain intact in the long run. One of the most famous deposits is the Burgess Shale from Canada, but a large number of similar deposits was spotted in China and Greenland.
The fossil mentioned in this article was found in the Emu Bay Shale, a deposit located on Kangaroo Island in Australia were trilobites fossils are plentiful. The name Redlichia rex references it’s status an apex predator, as rex is the Latin name for a king. Redlichia signals the genus, which was named after paleontologist Karl Redlich. The impressive appendages of the trilobite allowed it to capture prey with remarkable efficiency. The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Bo has over six years experience as a teacher, advocate and speaker. He has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Human rights from Harvard University Graduate School.