Yawunik

Name: Yawunik ‭(‬named after a creature in Ktunaxa legend‭)‬.
Phonetic: Ya-wu-nik.
Named By: CÚdric Aria,‭ ‬Jean-Bernard Caron‭ & ‬Robert Gaines‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.
Classification: Arthropoda.
Species: Y.‭ ‬kootenayi‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: ‭M‬ain body about‭ ‬15‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada,‭ ‬British Columbia‭ ‬-‭ ‬Marble Canyon.
Time period: Cambrian.
Fossil representation: Specimens preserved complete on slab.

       Yawunik has been a very big insight into how modern arthropods may have developed the features that they are‭ ‬known for.‭ ‬In modern‭ (‬and most‭ ‬prehistoric forms‭)‬,‭ ‬different functions such as‭ ‬sense,‭ ‬grasping,‭ ‬walking,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬are usually divided to specific body parts.‭ ‬In Yawunik however you can see body parts adapted that are for lack of a better term multipurpose.
       Yawunik looks a little bit like a fifteen centimetre long pill bug,‭ ‬but it is the front appendages that the genus is most notable for.‭ ‬Each appendage ended with the growth of three claws,‭ ‬but this wasn’t all.‭ ‬From the ends of these claws,‭ ‬long wisp like antennae grew,‭ ‬meaning that Yawunik could not only sense but also trap prey with the same body parts,‭ ‬abilities that are usually separated in other forms.
       Aside from the multipurpose claws,‭ ‬another thing that makes Yawunik stand out is that this creature had four eyes.‭ ‬These were underneath the most forward part of the shell which may have acted as a hood for the eyes and with this arrangement in mid Yawunik seems to have had its vision orientated forwards.‭ ‬Whether Yawunik sifted through soft sediment for buried prey,‭ ‬or if it lay in-between crevices to ambush passing animals,‭ ‬we simply do not know.

Further reading
-‭ ‬A large new leanchoiliid from the Burgess Shale and the influence of inapplicable states on stem arthropod phylogeny.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Palaeontology.‭ ‬-‭ ‬CÚdric Aria,‭ ‬Jean-Bernard Caron‭ & ‬Robert Gaines‭ ‬-‭ ‬2015.



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