This ancient arthropod was one protective parent! This 430-million-year-old fossil discovered in England of Aquilonifer spinosus, a teeny arthropod measuring about 9.5 millimeters in length, gave scientists a look at how this critter cared for its young. Using 3D modeling software, the scientists were able to see miniature “strings” connecting the baby arthropods to their parent, sort of like little kites. This is the first time this particular type of parenting has been found in the fossil record, although some crustaceans (this fossil’s modern relatives) have similar strategies for protecting their babies. So kids, if you think your mom is being too protective, just remember that at least she hasn’t tied you to her back for safe keeping.
Want to learn more? Visit https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ancient-arthropod-kept-its-brood-close?tgt=nr
April 11, 2016