Max and his Anomalocaris Drawing
Our thanks to Max and his mum for sending us a wonderful thank you letter after we furnished him with twenty-two prehistoric animal fact sheets to add to his dinosaur database. Max very kindly provided us with a drawing of a scene from the Cambrian, a geological period that lasted some fifty-four million years or so (542 to 488 million years ago). The Cambrian marks the appearance of sophisticated marine ecosystems and a rapid radiation and diversification of marine life-forms. It is the first geological period of the Phanerozoic Eon, an Eon that continues today (visible life). We really appreciate Max’s illustration, it’s a super drawing of a Cambrian scene.
The Cambrian Scene Sent to Everything Dinosaur by Young Max
Picture Credit: Max
At Everything Dinosaur we get sent lots of pictures of dinosaurs, some amazing drawings as well as snapshots of fossil finds. We don’t get too many drawings illustrating life in the shallow seas of the world some 510 million years ago. A special thank you to Max and his mum for sending this into us.
The animal featured in the centre of Max’s drawing looks like an Anomalocaris. Although, it was probably not the fastest swimmer, Anomalocaris was probably the apex predator in the shallow sea fauna represented by the fossils from the Burgess Shale of British Columbia. At more than a seventy centimetres in length, Anomalocaris was probably the largest member of the Burgess Shale biota.
The Drawing by Max Compared to a Scientific Illustration of Anomalocaris
Picture Credit: Max and Everything Dinosaur
We can certainly see a resemblance between the two drawings. It had been thought that the anomalocarids had become extinct at the end of the Cambrian, but a study of Ordovician fossils from Morocco provided a surprise for palaeontologists. It seems these types of marine creatures, which might be the ancestors of today’s velvet worms, lived for at least thirty million years longer, and what is more, some kinds actually grew even bigger than their Cambrian counterparts.
To read more about this: Anomalocarids into the Ordovician
Everything Dinosaur enjoys receiving drawings such as the one Max sent into us, especially ones that illustrate scenes from very dramatic times in the evolution of life on our planet, such as the Cambrian. Our thanks to Max once again for sending in his picture.