As if horseshoe crabs were not rare enough, scientists simply discovered one that looks like Darth Vader.
A fossil of 245 million years shows a strange invertebrate, with a head with the shape of the letter "D" and a long tail. Scientists who discovered the fossil thought that the prehistoric creature looked like a villain Star Wars so they named it after the most infamous movie: Vaderlimulus .
While the horseshoe crabs appeared on earth 470 million years ago, it lived more recently, during the late Tribadic, when the first dinosaurs barely evolved. Horseshoe crabs are still alive today, and that means they have survived five mbad extinctions. You can even see them crossing beaches on the east coast of the USA. UU Or in East Asia.
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Vaderlimulus tricki is 245 million years old, and similar to the horseshoe crabs we have today. NM Museum of Natural History and Science
Vaderlimulus lived near the coast of Idaho, during a time when the surface of the earth had a significant shape different and what is now the Gem State was on the coast of the supercontinent Pangea. German researchers published their study in the journal Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie .
Horseshoe crabs, whether ancient or modern, are in the subphylum Chelicerata, which means that their closest living relatives are spiders and scorpions. Like spiders and crabs, they have exoskeletons, but horseshoe crabs are not technically crabs. Its crab-like legs are hidden under a wide carapace with eyes at the top.
This body shape is not always an advantage. If they end up on their backs, they can use their long tails to straighten up, but sometimes that can be difficult. The National Sea Grant Program produced a booklet on how to turn a horseshoe crab to help you redo horseshoe crab stuff.
Despite having survived for hundreds of millions of years, through strange forms of evolution, the rise and fall of dinosaurs, and several mbad extinctions, the number of modern horseshoe crabs is running low. They are easy to catch and are sometimes used in fertilizers. Meanwhile, some scientists harvest their blood to make medicines. While animals generally return to the ocean after donating blood, these individuals have a high mortality rate and low reproduction rate.
The discovery of this Darth Vader crab, with its large hull and small body, shows the diversity of horseshoe crabs. If they can survive humanity, perhaps they will live another hundred thousand years after us.