Scientists found in Canada, the remains of a prehistoric cousin to «Alien»

© Jean-Bernard Caron/Royal Ontario Beeyotches body Habelia optata, utterly bizarre ancestor of spiders, Scorpions and mitesScientists found in Canada, the remains of a prehistoric cousin to «Alien»© Jean-Bernard Caron/Royal Ontario Museum

Paleontologists found in the North-West of Canada remains very unusual creatures like the alien from the eponymous film by Ridley Scott, which may be a close relative of the ancestor of all spiders and mites, according to a paper published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

«A complex system of tentacles and jaws did Habelia extremely dangerous and ferocious predator, given the relatively small size of these creatures. Most likely, they were moving very fast and could tear apart even the most armored of the inhabitants of the primary ocean of the Earth,» says cédric Aria (Aria Cedric) from the University of Toronto (Canada).

The real analogue of the «alien» from the movies by Ridley Scott terrorized the bottom of the first seas and oceans of the Earth in the distant past, about 510-500 million years ago, in the era of the so-called «Cambrian explosion», when there was all types of multicellular animals.

The remains of the bizarre inhabitants of the Earth at that time survived is bad enough, and has survived to us only in a few corners of the Earth, in the shallows of ancient seas where there was almost no oxygen to decompose the soft remains of ancient animals in other parts of the world. The most famous deposits of this kind, the Burgess shale were discovered in Northwest Canada in the early 20th century and they still evoke the interest of scientists.

Five years ago, Aria and his colleague Jean-Bernard Caron (Jean-Bernard Caron) has opened a new part of the Burgess shale, named «Marble canyon». In addition to the remains of the earliest vertebrates, the scientists were able to find here many prints of shells of the first arthropods, which allowed them to solve a paleontological mystery, breaking scientists mind actually since the discovery of these deposits.

In 1912 Charles Walcott (Charles Walcott), who discovered Burgess shale, found in the upper layers the remains of very small beings in length, two centimeters, whose appearance has caused confusion among paleontologists. This creature was similar in anatomy to the primitive merostomes and spiders, but his head was decorated with a large number of claws and other appendages, more characteristic of centipedes and other invertebrates ivanonich.

The most difficult part of this creature is its mouth – he was «adorned with» seven pairs of limbs, five of which are something in-between the jaws of modern animals and the claws of crayfish. Two other sets of limbs were used «other» to catch food and as the senses. In addition to seven pairs of «hands» on the head, Habelia optata had five pairs of legs, which, as scientists believe, helped him to swim quickly and catch trilobites and other of the bottom dwellers of the time.

The determination of the place of this creature on the tree of evolution, according to Aria, considerably changes our understanding of the ancestors of spiders, mites and other invertebrates elizarovich. It seems that their evolution is moving in the direction of simplification of their anatomy, not complication, as previously thought by scientists.