Scientists go hunting ancient giant crustaceans

Australian scientists are going to organize a series of re-excavations in their country at the sites where the fossil remains of crustaceans were previously found. The goal is to find the most complete sample of a large species and thereby prove or disprove the existence of these deadly giants in the past. The Australians have many scattered fragments at their disposal, but only one complete specimen of Adelophthalmus waterstoni - crumbs with a body length of 5.7 cm.

The unofficial goal of the search is to find something similar to Jaekelopterus rhenaniae - the largest invertebrate creature in Earth's history. Its body length reached 2.5 m, and huge half-meter chelicerae could cope with any prey. These giants needed a lot of food, and they lived at a time when the planet was ruled by arthropods, so hardly anyone could challenge the most powerful of the crustaceans.

Australian scientists believe that, due to its size and strength, the crustacean may have occupied the same position in the food chain at that time as modern white sharks. Apparently, it was the dominant predator that could feed on both fish and less fortunate brethren. If a man had fallen into the Paleozoic sea, he, too, would certainly have become his lunch.