Sunday, 28 December 2014

110-million-year-old crustacean holds essential piece to evolutionary puzzle

Dec 24, 2014 by Kristy Condon
Telamonocarcinus antiquus: the newly discovered
 species is the oldest known "higher" crab,
dating back some 110 million years.

University of Alberta PhD student Javier Luque has found the oldest crown-group true higher crab ever discovered, deep in the tropics of Colombia. The discovery of Telamonocarcinus antiquus pushes back the oldest known record of true higher crabs into the Early Cretaceous, dating about 110 million years ago.

The new finding provides critical information that would shift the paradigm from the previously accepted hypothesis of high latitude origin in the Late Cretaceous period, to a lower latitude Neotropical origin in the Early Cretaceous—several million years earlier than previously thought.

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