The 500-million-year-old crab-named after Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon

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Also Harrison Ford should be proud of it.

A fossil of a newly discovered crab that lived over 500 million years ago, and is named after the Millennium Falcon, the spacecraft that Ford’s character Han Solo was in the “Star Wars”.

Known as the Cambroraster falcatus, with the old being “rake-like claws, and a pineapple-slice-shaped mouth, in front of a huge heart.” It was also up to a foot in length, according to a statement on the announcement of the results.

A reconstruction of the ancient organism, Cambroraster falcatus, a giant crab that prowled the ocean’s beds and more than 500 million years ago. (Credit: Larry Fields, Of The Royal Ontario Museum).


“For the size, it would have been even more impressive at the time, that he was like most of the animal life during the Cambrian Period, and were smaller than your little finger,” said Joe Moysiuk, the study’s lead author, in a statement.

C. falcatus, similar to that of a modern-day horseshoe crabs, the second part of its name from the large shield-like carapace that covers the head, which is in the form of Solo space.

“With his broad range of head and carapace, with deep notches for the reception of the upward-oriented eyes, Cambroraster looks like it’s part of modern life in the soil-dwelling animals such as horseshoe crabs,” Moysiuk was added. “This is a remarkable case of evolutionary convergence, in this radiodonts.”

The Millennium Falcon in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”
(Fair Use, Screengrab/Lucas Film)

The fossils were discovered in the 506-million-year-old Burgess Shale, at a number of locations in the Marble Canyon area in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia.

In addition to scary, like all of the features, of the C. falcatus had a varied diet. It preyed upon a variety of insects, crabs, and spiders, by means of its claws, which look like “in the future who’s.”

“We believe that the Cambroraster can be used, it would sift through the sediment, trapping of buried prey in the net-like array of hooked spines,” study co-author Jean-Bernard Caron, will be added to the list.

A Complete fossil, (“The ROMIP 65078) of the Cambroraster falcatus, eyes, and body with attached swim flaps under the large head carapace. The shale in which the fossil was locked, was open, so parts of the body on both sides (right and left). (Credit: Jean-Bernard Caron© Royal Ontario Museum).

Moysiuk, added that he was impressed by the scale of most of the creatures that lived during the Cambrian Period were smaller than your little finger.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Cambroraster was a distant relative of Anomalocaris, the “t. Rex of the Cambrian”, a prehistoric fish with sharp teeth. In spite of its close relationship to the Anomalocaris, Moysiuk said that the crab appeared to be feeding on in a very different way.”


Caron added that the number of fossils have been found in the past few years is “exceptional,” as the researchers have found hundreds of specimens, including a dozen in a single rock record. This has allowed the researchers to make the nature with a magnificent and unprecedented detail.

“The radiodont, the fossil record is rare; usually, we only find scattered bits and pieces. The large number of components, and usually full of fossils, preserved in the same place and in a real coup, as they help us to gain a better understanding of what these animals looked like and how they lived,” Caron continued. “We are very excited about this discovery. Cambroraster clearly shows that predation was a big deal at the time with all sorts of surprising size and comfortable.

In view of the prevalence of the fossils that have been found at various sites, the researchers believe that there may be new species waiting to be discovered.

The study has been published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


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