The strangest crab that has ever lived


The Humble Scot!
May 19, 2009
A recent discovery of hundreds of fossils has given the crab family a new cousin, a 95-million-year-old extinct species that, scientists say, will force us to rethink the definition of a crab.

An international team of researchers discovered the exceptionally well-preserved specimens, dating back to the mid-Cretaceous period of 90-95 million years ago, in rock formations in Colombia and the United States.

The most intriguing discovery, according to the researchers, is Callichimaera perplexa. They say the creature, about the size of a quarter with paddle-like legs, is the earliest example of a swimming arthropod since the extinction of sea scorpionsmore than 250 million years ago. The name derives from the chimera, a mythological creature that has body features from more than one animal. Callichimaera’s full name translates to “perplexing beautiful chimera.”

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