Offbeat

Jumbo Shrimp: Terrifying Oxymoron

Although we all chuckle at oxymorons, like “good grief” and “jumbo shrimp,” which is one of the most popular among them, after viewing the newly discovered prehistoric shellfish indicated above that certainly was a giant, running as far away from it as one can might prove to be a better tactic.

In southeastern Morocco, Yale researchers have uncovered a most terrifying fossil. The remains of an enormous killer shrimp with tentacles on its mouth more than three feet long seems more like something out of a horror movie, but as it turns out, it is its own horror movie all by itself!

The creature lived during the Ordovician period, which occurred about 488 to 472 million years ago. According to authorities at National Geographic, this spiny ancestor of modern crustaceans known as anomalocaridids ruled the seas during its lifetime.

In the words of Peter Van Roy, a paleontologist at Yale University and one of the co-authors of the findings published in Nature:

“Anomalocaridids are always depicted as these fierce horrible predators, ripping up things and tearing them apart and no doubt some of them were.”

For more than a century, these Anomalocaridids have been misidentified, as scientists were forced to work with partial remains. This was due to the fact that full intact fossils were difficult to find. They were believed to be relatives of sea cucumbers, jellyfish and shrimp until Van Roy and his colleagues identified the remains as that of one animal.

According to scientists, this monster prawn is about a foot bigger than previously found specimens and is approximately 30 million years younger than earlier discoveries.

Watch out for those oxymorons!

You just never know whom you are talking to and an angry one just might come up behind you and…well, you know.

 

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