Anomalocaridids: their ecology & their diversity.
The Cambrian Explosion was a major biodiversification event that saw the rise of nearly all animal phyla in a rapid burst 500 million years ago. The anomalocaridids are iconic members of these primitive animal ecosystems, owing to their huge size, bizarre morphology and complicated history of desription. In this talk, I will discuss their ecology, and particularly the view that the anomalocardidids were highly specialised apex predators attacking trilobites. My reserach has shown that these animals were actually highly diverse and employed a wider range of feeding strategies than previously assumed, including generalised predation and even suspension feeding.