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Categories[edit] 20:48, 30 September 2006 (UTC)I'm not very experienced with Wikipedia, but I noticed that two categories were virtually parallel and should have links between each other. The Cambrian Category holds a mishmash of geologic periods, vertebrates and invertebrates. The Prehistoric Arthropods category holds several Cambrian arthropods that are not in the Cambrian category. So, I added several Cambrian invertebrates (some of them of uncertain classification, but it is much easier to find them in one unified category). It might make sense to have a sub-category in Prehistoric Arthropods for prehistoric invertebrates of uncertain classification, or vice versa. To try to make this little post understood so it can be discussed, I will post this in the talk page for Anomalocaris, Anomalocarid, Aysheaia, and Hallucigenia. Hope this helps Wikipedia's support of a nice little-known topic.

Laggania's lifestyle[edit]

The reconstructions of Laggania at have features which to me suggest a bottom-feeder rather than a plankton feeder:

  • eyes completely dorsal as well as posterior to those of Anomalocaris, and with noticeably short stalks (i.e. less mobile). Dorsal eyes would help a bottom-feeder to look out for more dangerous predators, e.g. Anomalocaris. I suspect that in a plankton feeder selection pressure would favour lateral eyes on longer stalks so that the animal could look up / forward for food and in all directions for danger. Dorsal eyes would not help a bottom-feeder to capture prey, but the mud it stirred up would reduce the eyes' contribution to capturing prey; and Laggania may have had good tactile and chemical senses (insects' antennae provide these senses, and antennae are modified legs).
  • longer spines than Anomalocaris on the pre-oral appendages. These would be good for raking sand and mud. Most plankton feeders which use appendages have dozens of very slender, feather-like appendages to maximise the capture / filter surface, and Laggania has only 2 fairly robust appendages. The manta ray uses 2 appendages (cephalic fins) to channel plankton into its mouth, but the manta's cephalic fins are broad flaps, not segmented arms with spines.
  • the usual relatively small anomalocarid mouth. Most large plankton feeders have huge mouths to hoover up their prey.

Laggania also has:

  • no fantail at the rear
  • more rigid lateral lobes than Anomalocaris

which suggests its was slower and less agile than Anomalocaris. This is consistent with both a plankton-feeder and a bottom-feeder. Philcha 18:42, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

While these are very interesting conclusions (and I am not opposed to them), they also constitute original research. Get a citation, and we'll incorporate it into the article. If you can't find a citation for it, then I suggest that you head into invertebrate paleontology and publish a paper that we can cite here. Last and not least, perhaps this part of the discussion needs to be moved to the specific section for the individual species? Aderksen (talk) 18:39, 15 April 2008 (UTC)
According to Sam Gon III's [Trilobite website], there are two citations establishing a published record for this speculation:
  • Dzik, J. and Lendzion, K. 1988. The oldest arthropods of the East European Platform. Lethaia, 21, 29-38.
  • Nedin, C. 1995. The Emu Bay Shale, a Lower Cambrian fossil Lagerstätten, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists 18, 31-40.
I do not have access to either of these journals, but if someone would like to read them and confirm this - or forward me a copy of the PDFs so that I can do it... we could finally resolve and support this point on the main page and in the genus-specific article. Aderksen (talk) 21:38, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Would it be worthwhile to advance the possibility that as Mr. Gon is a reputable authority on trilobites (and their predators), that it might be worthwhile to cite him and his website for these hypotheses?Aderksen (talk) 17:13, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Merging with the Anomalocaris article[edit]

This is only a suggestion. Anyone for it? Giant Blue Anteater 17:20, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

I second it (anon)

No, we should not. After all, mosasaur and Mosasaurus are two distinct articles, after all.--Mr Fink 15:40, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


The article briefly mentions Brine Shrimp, though it seems anomalocaris bears an even closer resemblance to Fairy Shrimp, and seems to have a few traits in common with other Branchiopods. Take a look at these pages...

Does anyone know any more (or at least know anywhere it's been discussed at greater depth)? --Xanthine 01:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

If you can find a citation for it, then mentioning these similarities would be valuable. As it is, this comes dangerously close to "original research". As suggested above: if you can demonstrate through cladistic morphological trait analysis that Anomalocaridae bear many synapomorphies with either of those groups, then you have an excellent topic for a graduate thesis in invertebrate paleontology, and we will be glad to cite you as an authority when you do publish it. Aderksen (talk) 18:39, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Popular culture[edit]

Anyone have the title of Shusterman's short story?

Do we need this selection? It was recently removed from the Anomalocaris genus-specific page, and I'm not really certain that it belongs here either. While I think that it is interesting to note that the distinctive family morphology has shown up in several media products listed in the section (and might be an entertaining way for readers of this article to become more familiar with the group), the section as a whole really needs to be better developed. I would recommend some citations from the creators of including media suggesting that their media product was in fact related or inspired by Anomalocaris. Aderksen (talk)

I never feel that these sections are notable or encyclopaedic. You'll have no complaint from me if it disappears! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:59, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Largest animal?[edit]

The article states that "Anomalocarids are the largest Cambrian animals known." Wouldn't that make them the largest animal to ever inhabit the planet up to that point? If so, I think it'd be worth noting that. Jacob1207 01:44, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Some of the Ediacara biota were larger: but who knows how they related to animals! Smith609 Talk 11:27, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Taxonomic inconsistencies[edit]

It says in that the Anomalocarid is a member of of the Dinocarida family, but the two groups have completely different taxonomies according to the taxobox - they apparently aren't even part of the same subkingdom. Which is more accurate? There are also some inconsistencies with the Anomalocaris article, which says that Anomalocarididae is a family, not a class, and that Dinocarida is a class rather than a phylum. (talk) 04:20, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. Based on a quick skim of the recent literature, it should read Family Anomalocaridae, Order Radiodonta, Class Dinocarida. The last place I saw Anomalocarida used as a subphylum was back when the Anomalocaridae were still putatively part of Arthropoda. Which is not to say that such things do not pop up from time to time in the sometimes confused taxonomic literature. I'll update it (and all genera) here in a moment, unless you beat me to the draw. Aderksen (talk) 21:51, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Oops. And Phylum Arthropoda is where they are going to stay right now. Aderksen (talk) 22:00, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Arrgh - and I'll further attempt to justify it with the older paper that created Dinocarida [1] in the first place.
I don't think they can be placed in the arthropoda. See e.g. Briggs, D.E.G.; Whittington, H.B. (1987), "Trilobites and other early arthropods", Lethaia, 20 (2): 185–186, doi:10.1111/j.1502-3931.1987.tb00776.x 
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:01, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
See also Xianguang, H.; Bergström, J.; Jie, Y. (2006), "Distinguishing anomalocaridids from arthropods and priapulids", Geological Journal, 41 (3-4): 259, doi:10.1002/gj.1050 
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 23:28, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I stand corrected! I ran into some additional citations[2] while you were working. I can see that you've already updated the Dinocarida page. Sorry about the mistake - I was only trying to help and educate myself at the same time. The Collins paper was well-cited, and made sense at first read. What other structural changes should or could be made for this group? This is obviously an area of some controversy and contention... Aderksen (talk) 00:10, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
No problem! Editing the Wiki is a great way of learning, and there'll inevitably be a mistake or two along the way - especially as progress in this area of research often seems to be in the form of discrediting everything previously known! Feel free to get stuck in, and if there are any references you'd like me to send you, I'd be happy to. I agree that the family vs. genus problem is an issue; ideally we'd have one page detailing everything, to avoid repetition, but there's a bit too much content for that to work. The approach taken at Halkieriid and Halkieria seemed to work quite well, maybe that can be adapted here? Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 00:56, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
P.S. I noticed you're adding references by hand: you might find the Reference formatter useful. Martin (Smith609 – Talk)
Anyone want to update this based on the Vinther et al (2014)[3]paper? Someone already helpfully put the chart at Anomalocarida. Aderksen (talk) 13:39, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Collins, Desmond (1996). The "Evolution" of Anomalocaris and Its Classification in the Arthropod Class Dinocarida (nov.) and Order Radiodonta (nov.) Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 280-293.
  2. ^ Budd, GE, "The morphology of Opabinia regalis and the reconstruction of the arthropod stem-group", Lethaia, 29 (1): 1–14, doi:10.1111/j.1502-3931.1996.tb01831.x 
  3. ^ Vinther, J.; Stein, M.; Longrich, N. R.; Harper, D. A. T. (2014). "A suspension-feeding anomalocarid from the Early Cambrian". Nature. 507: 496–499 doi = 10.1038/nature13010. doi:10.1038/nature13010. 

Page Layout and Design[edit]

Okay - this page is terribly organized, and needs some sort of improved hierarchical structure by which to present its information. I suspect that some of this will be redundant with individual species pages, but the two organisms I am currently looking at as models for this page are Opabinia, whose page is laid out as follows:

  • History of discovery
  • Occurrence
  • Description
  • Lifestyle
  • Classification
  • Theoretical significance

and of course, Anomalocaris, whose page is laid out as following:

  • Anatomy
  • Discovery
  • Ecology
  • Gallery

Perhaps some of the Anomalocaris material can be revised and moved to the family page, as that page does appear to be better written? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aderksen (talkcontribs) 13:48, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I've moved this section to the end - it's convention at Wikipedia to start new conversations at the end of the page, and I don't want it getting inadvertently overlooked!
My suggestion would be:
  • Description - focussing mainly on body plan
  • General ecology - i.e. free-swimming, with details of why and how
  • Relationships - i.e. arthropod-like but not euarthropods
  • Extent - temporal and geographical distribution. Possibility of descendants; date of extinction
  • Description - focussing on features which aren't common to all anomalocaridids
  • Ecology - Skimming features common to all anomalocaridids such as swimming, focussing on specifics (e.g. feeding habits)
  • History: Discovery, reconstruction as complete organism, (briefly) ideas about classification, mention of fossil range (geographical and temporal)
While we're at it, Laggania and other anomalocaridids could use a similar treatment to Anomalocaris, albeit with a slightly lower priority.
Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:50, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The Opabinia layout works out fine for a single genus. The difficulty with Anomalocarid is that there's room for doubt about whether half the relevant genera are genuine members of the family or more distant relatives - Parapeytoia, Kerygmachela, Pambdelurion and Opabinia. I don't think we can say much about the family Anomalocarid until we have a good grasp of the facts and issues concerning the genera. I suggest we get the genus-level articles up to something approaching GA standard first. -- Philcha (talk) 09:03, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Lucky monogeneric critters. I'm not sure what kind of treatment one can provide the individual genera - even with a sketch-layout similar to the one suggested by Martin, there is a paucity of real information available to fill them. I suppose you can describe apomorphies that distinguish the individual genera, and that would fill some space - with a link back to the Anomalocaris page for comparison?
As for the genera of dubious placement? I propose we have two sections for genera on the family page; certain and putative, with a mention that putative members and relations may be refined as more fossils are uncovered. Aderksen (talk) 20:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
That would be a start; the anomalocaridids are being actively researched, so there should be more publications out over the next couple of years, so it's probably not worth spending too much time worrying about lack of information at this stage. It'd be nice to get a framework wherever possible though, to make later expansion easier and the articles as good as possible in the meantime! Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 01:33, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Taxobox/Edit Question[edit]

It looks like the taxoboxen and image files are bumping the "edit this section" buttons into weird locations. Does anybody have the wiki-fu skills to fix this or offer suggestions that might help us to clear this up? Aderksen (talk) 21:32, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

I moved this page to anomalocaridid, because anomalocarid is a mis-spelling, as explained in the article. Someone reverted it. This frustrated me, so after a cup or two of tea and thought I'd open the issue for discussion. Martin (Smith609 – Talk) 02:34, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Good work, but I'd cut whoever reverted it a bit of slack - I'd like to think I know a thing or two as an amateur, and I made the same mistake and got into the same edit war with you last time. I think all you have to do is keep hitting us on our collective noses with the rolled-up newspaper of the Xianguang et al. 2006 article, and eventually it will sink in. Eventually the reverter will read the article and come to the same conclusions - and use anomalocarid as the redirect to the more authoritative (and correct, although strange-sounding) anomalocaridid. Aderksen (talk) 03:18, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

In Popular Culture section[edit]

Questionable Content wiki page did indeed mention anomalocaridids, but I believe the addition of an "In Popular Culture" section to be unencyclopedic.


When trying to decide if a pop culture reference is appropriate to an article, ask yourself the following:

  • Has the subject acknowledged the existence of the reference?
  • Have reliable sources that don't generally cover the subject pointed out the reference?
  • Did any real-world event[clarification needed] occur because of the reference?

The first question doesn't apply here, and I can't find anything to fit the second or third criteria, so I think it should be deleted, as much as I love QC. --hacky (talk) 17:15, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

The "In Popular Culture" section should discuss how "Popular Culture" views the subject, and or how it inspired/play(ed/s) a vital, integral role/part in a particular franchise. The "In Popular Culture" should not be a tedious trivia list that plays "Spot The Monster Of The Week."--Mr Fink (talk) 20:40, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
Valid points. Until the internet gets crammed with anomalocardidid references because of this comic, it has no place here. I stand corrected. --Oskila (talk) 20:53, 17 December 2012 (UTC)