In January 2018 a large sandstone fell from a rock off the coast of Northumberland in the north of the UK.
It opened – a huge fossil appeared.
Neil Davis, who teaches sedimentary geology at Cambridge University, says the discovery was made by a former doctoral student at the school.
It took four people at the university to move it. They found that the fossil was 326 million years old. Journal of the Geographical Society.
This is about 100 million years before the time of the dinosaurs. Named Arthroplora, the creature is described as a kind of centipede, estimated to be about 2.6 meters long. The weight is estimated at about 50 kg.
This means it is the largest invertebrate ever to live, the title previously carried by the sea scorpion.
“It’s definitely the largest invertebrate ever to live,” Neil Davis wrote in an email. CNN.
The invention is well preserved and unusual
This is the third arthroplora discovered so far, and the others are smaller. So this person must have eaten a lot and nutritious food, the researchers say. When the creature was alive, Britain was at the equator and access to food was different.
Researchers believe the animal was preserved because the shell was filled with sand and preserved.
“It’s unusual to find these giant centipedes, because when they die, their bodies decompose,” says Neil Davis.
A fossil head has not yet been discovered, meaning not much is known about the species.
An earlier version of the text said “insect”. “Arthropod” or “spine” on the right.
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