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1 Feb, 2017 18:17

500mn years old & boasting 30 legs: ‘Worm’ fossil offers insight into ancient species (VIDEO)

500mn years old & boasting 30 legs: ‘Worm’ fossil offers insight into ancient species (VIDEO)

Researchers have uncovered the remains of a 500 million-year-old worm-like creature with 30 legs which once lived on the ocean floor, providing new insights into the life of the ancient species.

Scientists believe the arthropod to be the most primitive of its kind in the fossil record,  living during the Cambrian period, when much of life was underwater.

The ancient arthropod, a large species which includes spiders, insects and myriapods, was discovered at British Columbia’s Burgess Shale. Its findings have been published in the BMC Evolutionary Biology journal.


Unlike other lobopodians of its time, the creature lacked defensive spines.

Researchers discovered it would anchor itself to the seabed using recurved claws on its thicker bottom limbs, and would wave its upper body around to capture tiny prey with its longer upper limbs, using its bristles.