Scientists reported finding a new Cambrian Period predator in the journal Paleontology. It is the first new species reported from the Marble Canyon in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park. According to scientists, the Marble Canyon fossil beds, which were found in 2012, rival the Burgess Shale in both the diversity of species and in how well-preserved the fossils are.
The newly found animal is an arthropod about six inches long. It had four eyes and a set of long arms beneath its face used for grabbing prey. It has been named Yawunik kootenayi, with the genus name being that of an important figure from the Ktunaxa creation myth. The animal lived 580 million years ago.
Arthropods are the most diverse phylum on Earth and now make up 80 percent of the world’s species. There are a million species of insects alone. Arachnids and crustaceans are also arthropods. Scientists on YouTube, however, aren’t sure when the arthropods evolved or how their body plan developed. Arthropods have a hard, chitinous exoskeleton, and they have segmented bodies and legs. Those legs tend to be highly specialized and tailored for one of any functions including walking, swimming, breathing and hunting.