Friends of Kootenay Blog

Access stories and photos about the natural and human history of Kootenay National Park and Columbia Valley Includes highlights about the Friends of Kootenay National Park activities and programs.


Half-a-Billion-Year-Old Tiny Predator Unveils the Rise of Scorpions and Spiders

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Mollisonia plenovenatrix

Mollisonia plenovenatrix


Two palaeontologists working on the world-renowned Burgess Shale have revealed a new species, called Mollisonia plenovenatrix, which is now considered to be the oldest chelicerate. This discovery places the origin of this vast group of animals—of over 115,000 species, including horseshoe crabs, scorpions and spiders—to a time more than 500 million years ago.

The specimens of Mollisonia plenovenatrix described in this new research are better preserved than the ones found at the original Walcott quarry that is located about 40 kilometers northwest of the Marble Canyon quarry. Many other fossils found at Marble Canyon and surrounding areas have already played a critical role in our understanding of the early evolution of many animal groups.

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