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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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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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