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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Hide and Seek in the Cambrian
7 December 2011 1:00 pm
About 515 million years ago the Cambrian seas were home to the weirdly wonderful predator Anomalocaris. The creature, seen in this artist's impression, was a distant cousin of arthropods, with eyes on stalks and a circular mouth containing interlocking plates that might be best described as a camera shutter of doom. These features have led paleontologists to think that Anomalocaris was a formidable predator of creatures like worms and trilobites, but, until now, exactly how this animal saw its prey has been a mystery. In a new study, published online today in Nature, paleontologists report that they have found a unique specimen of Anomalocaris with exceptionally-preserved fossil impressions of the animals' eyes. The creature apparently had at least 16,000 hexagon-shaped lenses in each eye that would have given it hi-res vision similar to the visual abilities of living dragonflies. The fact that Anomalocaris had such keen eyesight may have been part of an early evolutionary arms race, the authors suggest. As predators evolved better vision, their prey must have developed better armor or other defenses. Hide and seek with Anomalocaris was certainly a dangerous game.
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