An Incredible Discovery
Many fossils have been found all around the world over the years. However, few have been discovered in the lush, thick rainforests of South America. That was until Javier Luque was leading a team of researchers through rock formations in Columbia when they found something incredible. The team uncovered hundreds of fossils – including one they had never seen before. The researchers had to find out more.
Although it looked as though the fossil belonged to a crab, the researchers were confused by its appearance. The fossil was around the size of a quarter and looked as though it would have been alive between 90 and 95 million years ago in the mid-Cretaceous period. The fossil showed the crab had a long body, an exposed tail, leg-like mouth parts, bent claws, and eyes that had no sockets.
Defying The Odds
The fossil was unlike any crab they had ever seen. In fact, Javier soon noted that it was like “the platypus of the crab world” as it appeared to be made up of several different creatures. The researchers promptly named the fossil Callichimaera perplexa. Everyone on the expedition was amazed to be looking at a swimming arthropod as they hadn’t been seen since sea scorpions that ruled the waters almost 250 million years ago.
Expanding The Family
It appears as though the Callichimaera perplexa goes against everything that many scientists would consider to be crab-like. However, they knew that the fossil was part of the same family. The team identified that the crab showed features typical of crab larvae that live in the open sea. The difference? They never grew out of them in adulthood. Now, Javier and the team have been left wondering if it could be time to expand the crab family.
Just when we think we know a lot about our planet, it seems as though Mother Nature has another surprise to throw our way. Incredibly, this secret had been lying around us for the last 95 million years just waiting to be discovered.