Freaky fossils: Gorilla-sized lemurs, mutant shrimp

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

Aegirocassis
The Aegirocassis puts “jumbo shrimp” to shame!

Scientists have unearthed unbelievable underwater monsters… like a 480-million-year-old mega shrimp beast in Morocco and fossils of extinct giant lemurs near Madagascar!

Let’s start off with the ultimate mutant, the 7-foot-long Aegirocassis, which was once the largest animal on the planet back in the day. This thing definitely looks like it came from Saturn’s moons, since it’s a relative of lobsters, cockroaches, and tarantulas, with fins sticking out all over the place and spine-covered doodads on its head. Despite its horror-movie appearance, it used spiny limbs to munch on little morsels in the ocean, and wasn’t a fearsome predator.

Meanwhile, in one of the three flooded caves of Madagascar’s largest underwater graveyard, divers uncovered fossils of gorilla-sized lemurs. Did these guys thump their chests and wrestle actual gorillas for bananas? Who knows! I bet that this will inspire DreamWorks Animation to make Madagascar 6: Mutant Lemurs from Space. The divers also came across hundreds of bones from primitive primates, dating back to 4,000 years ago. Was there some kind of huge gladiator battle going on in this cave? If the Aegirocassis showed up, my money would definitely be on him.

Featured image courtesy of The Field Museum. Image of Aegirocassis courtesy of Marianne Collins, ArtofFact.