Friday, 8 December 2017

245m year old 'Darth Vader' horseshoe crab fossil found

An uncanny resemblance to an evil villain has earned a fossilized crab the honour of being named after Darth Vader. The unusual shape of the extinct horseshoe crab species bears a striking similarity to the famous helmet of the Star Wars character.

The 245-million-year-old species, whose remains date from the Triassic period, have been dubbed Vaderlimulus tricki, after the Dark Lord of the Sith.
It is the first fossil of its kind from the Triassic Period to be found in North America. When this creature was alive, it would have lived on the supercontinent of Pangea.

Already ancient at that time, horseshoe crabs date back nearly 500 million years and surviving fossils are extremely rare. Today only four similar species remain alive and their numbers continue to dwindle.