Bug Blog

Extinct Arthropod Species Had An Interesting Parenting Strategy

A creature that measures a half in inch in length, and lived four hundred and thirty million years ago, was awfully reckless when handling its offspring. The name given to this creature is Aquilonifer spinosus, and it carries its offspring in little pouches that are tethered to its body like little kites.

Apparently arthropods went through many evolutionary stages, in which they struggled to find expedient and practical ways to transport their offspring. The Aquilonifer spinosus was clearly an early primitive example of arthropods, so its inability to not look ridiculous when out and about with its kids is understandable.

Initially, researchers saw the bizarre ancient arthropod and they assumed that the pouches that were tethered around its body were actually parasites. The pouches that are strung from its body may appear parasitic, but they just happen to be the result of a strange mutation that no scientist has seen before.

Could the pouches that are strung to the ancient arthropods body serve another purpose?