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Milpiés: la criatura más impresionante que caminó sobre la Tierra.

Arthropleura, fue el milpiés más grande que jamás haya existido. Los paleontólogos acaban de encontrar los restos fosilizados de un ejemplar.

Investigadores del Reino Unido, encontraron el exoesqueleto fosilizado del artrópodo más grande que jamás haya existido, un milpiés.

fósil
Imagen: Universidad de Cambridge

Estas criaturas gigantes tenían la longitud de un automóvil y probablemente vagaron por la Tierra durante el Período Carbonífero, hace entre 359 millones y 299 millones de años.

Los monstruosos antepasados ​​milpiés, conocidos como Arthropleura, ya eran conocidos por los científicos.

Pero el nuevo descubrimiento de un fragmento de exoesqueleto fosilizado confirma lo que se sabía.

Estos invertebrados antiguos podrían crecer hasta ser mucho más grandes de lo que se esperaba.

El hallazgo.

Los investigadores descubrieron el nuevo fósil de Arthropleura, que tiene alrededor de 326 millones de años, dentro de un bloque fragmentado de arenisca en una playa en Northumberland en el noreste de Inglaterra en 2018.

fósil
Imagen: Universidad de Cambridge

El fragmento de exoesqueleto mide 75 centímetros de largo y 55 centímetros de ancho.

Esto significa que el individuo que lo mudó habría medido alrededor de 2.6 metros de largo y pesó alrededor de 50 kilogramos, de acuerdo con el cálculo de los investigadores.

Afortunado descubrimiento.

El descubrimiento del fósil de milpiés fue «muy afortunado».

El área donde se encontró el exoesqueleto «no es un lugar conocido por albergar fósiles».

Fue muy afortunado que el exoesqueleto del milpiés fuera visible.

milpiés
Imagen: Universidad de Cambridge

Neil Davies, geólogo en el Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra de la Universidad de Cambridge en Inglaterra, dijo:

El bloque que contiene el fósil había caído recientemente del acantilado y se había agrietado en el lugar correcto.

El fósil expuesto fue hallado por un ex estudiante de doctorado que pasaba caminando.

Los exoesqueletos mudados normalmente no se fosilizan bien porque se descomponen rápidamente. Pero éste estaba excepcionalmente bien conservado.

Davies agregó:

Parece que se llenó de arena poco después de la muda. Está en el canal de un río fosilizado, por lo que probablemente cayó en un río pequeño y quedó sepultado en otros sedimentos muy rápidamente.

Otros fósiles.

Solo se han descubierto otros dos fósiles de milpiés Arthropleura, ambos en Alemania. El nuevo fósil es el más antiguo y el más grande descubierto hasta ahora.

milpiés
Imagen: Universidad de Cambridge

Todo lo demás que los investigadores saben sobre los invertebrados gigantes proviene de huellas fosilizadas, o huellas que dejaron atrás, que se han descubierto en Europa y América del Norte.

Milpiés monstruo.

Los investigadores no están exactamente seguros de qué comió el milpiés Arthropleura porque nunca se ha encontrado una cabeza.

Sin embargo, sospechan que estas bestias probablemente eran vegetarianas y probablemente se habrían dado un festín con árboles, plantas y nueces.

Sin embargo, es posible que también hayan comido otros pequeños invertebrados.

Recientemente, se descubrió que una nueva especie de milpiés viviente tiene 1,300 patas, pero la mayoría de las especies vivas tienen menos de 100 patas.

milpiés
Foto: Spencer Wright

Este hallazgo nos brinda nuevas cosas para dibujar e imaginar.

Seguramente Hollywood basará una película en la especie para dar a conocer las cosas sorprendentes que hacían mientras caminaban la plataforma terrestre.

Con información de LiveScience.

Somos Extremo Mundial.

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