Life was weird 500 million years ago
With its circular jaw armed with an array of fearsome teeth, it cruised the prehistoric seas as one of the top marine predators of its day.
Now scientists have been able to piece together the bizarre jigsaw puzzle that is Hurdia victoria – an ancestor of arthropods such as insects, spiders and crustaceans. The 1.5ft-long sea monster belonged to a group of weird animals that lived 500 million years ago during a period known as the "Cambrian explosion", when life on Earth went through a burst of evolutionary diversity.
The first fossilised scraps of Hurdia were discovered in 1912. These were followed by further body parts that were so varied and unusual that they were incorrectly classified as either jellyfish, sea cucumbers or shrimp-like crustaceans.
The recent discovery of complete body imprints in fossilised rock has enabled scientists to reconstruct the predator in all its glory - including a mysterious shell-like carapace positioned in front of its head.
"This structure is unlike anything seen in other fossil or living arthropods," said Allison Daley of Uppsala University in Sweden.
"We can only guess at what its function might have been."
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...