What do butterflies, spiders and lobsters share in common? Yawunik kootenayi
, a marine creature with two pairs of eyes and prominent grasping appendages that lived 250 million years before the first dinosaur.
The fossil recently identified is the first new species to be described from the Marble Canyon site, part of the Canadian Burgess Shale fossil deposit.
Yawunik had evolved long frontal appendages that resemble the antennae of modern beetles or shrimps, though these appendages were composed of three long claws, two of which bore opposing rows of teeth that helped the animal catch its prey.