Alberta University paleontologists have discovered coin-sized ‘cartoon-eyed’ crab species Callichimaera perplexa through 90-95 million-year-old fossilized remains. “They had what looked like the eyes of a larva, the mouth of a shrimp, claws of a frog crab, & the carapace of a lobster,” researchers said. The crab fossils were discovered in 2005 in the Andes Mountains in Colombia.
New species of crab has been discovered by the scientists that existed in the sea 95 million years ago called ‘Callichimaera perplexa’. This name is an allusion to a Greek mythological creature & means “perplexing beautiful chimera”.
The fossil found suggested that the small pocket-size crab had a tiny lobster-esque shell, legs flattened like oars & huge, & Pound Puppies’ eyes that protruded from its head. This may be due to its excessive use of the eyes. This is a huge discovery according to postdoctoral paleontologist at Yale University & the University of Alberta, Dr Javier Luque because this will make scientists “rethink what a crab is.”
“It gives us information about how novel body forms can evolve over time,” added Luque.
He made the discovery in 2005 in the mountains of Pesca, Boyaca in Columbia while hunting for fossils as an undergraduate geology student. After studying the findings thoroughly, Luque & his team published it in the journal, Science Advances. The creature is so peculiar that it is being termed as “the platypus of the crab world.”
The crab is from the mid-cretaceous period & it must have hailed from what is now Colombia, Northern Africa & Wyoming. With large eyes, legs built for swimming & wrench-like claws it is being considered to be a powerful hunter.
Luque class this his “beautiful nightmare because it was so beautiful & frustrating” for the researchers to comprehend.
“This new transitional fossil is making us rethink how crabs have evolved over time because it’s introducing this unique body form we weren’t aware of before,” said Heather Bracken-Grissom, an evolutionary biologist at Florida Internal University. This discovery reveals “an early lineage in the crab tree of life”, she added.