The Anomalocaris Homepage
last revised 24 DEC 2008 by S.M. Gon III
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Species 1

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Species 2

Gallery 3

Species 3

Species 4

Species Accounts I - Anomalocaris saron & Amplectobelua symbrachiata
There are three genera of anomalocarids for which entire specimens are known. This page features images of the fossils and reconstructions of each of these, starting with the less well known Chengjiang species:

Anomalocaris saron #1

This photo of the head of Anomalocaris saron, from the Chengjiang lagerstatten in China, shows the armed anterior appendages and prominent eyes. The central gut and dark paired structures to either side are also apparent. 
Anomalocaris saron #2

The  body of the Anomalocaris saron specimen is also preserved, and shows overlapping swimming lobes, tapering gradually backwards toward a well-developed fantail, and a pair of delicate streaming furcae.

A camera lucida drawing of the combined halves of the Anomalocaris saron specimen indicate the body proportions. The scale shows that the specimen length (minus furcae) is ~10 cm (<5 inches). It is thought to be a juvenile.

My reconstruction of the dorsal and ventral view of Anomalocaris saron is based on both the photographs and the camera lucida drawing. This species seems superficially similar to Anomalocaris canadensis.

Amplectobelua symbrachiata #1
Anomalocaris was a swimming predator
This specimen of the  Chengjiang anomalocarid Amplectobelua symbrachiata had  large eyes, nine lateral swimming lobes, and a pair of long posterior furcae (antenna-like filaments). As with the specimen of Anomalocaris saron, dark symmetrical masses appear on either side of the longitudinal axis of the animal.
Amplectobelua symbrachiata #2
The counterpart to the specimen at left better shows the extended swimming lobes, as well as details of the anterior appendage, which is quite distinctive among anomalocarids. I've reversed the photograph, so that it matches the camera lucida figure below. The dorsal fantail is not well-preserved in this specimen.
My reconstruction of the bauplan of Amplectobelua shows the impaling anterior appendages, large eyes, extended swimming lobes, and compact form that characterize this species.

A camera lucida drawing of the specimen clarifies some features, including the distinctive anterior appendages (RAP and LAP). The detail of the appendage in B shows the formidable spine arising from the base of the appendage.

1 See the next species: Parapeytoia yunnanensis and Opabinia regalis