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Yunnan Province, China, ~518 million years old.
Onychodictyon has a cylindrical body covered in finger-like papillae and two rows of oval-shaped sclerites, with pairs of soft legs ending in claws. It shared these features with modern onychophorans (velvet worms) and tardigrades (water bears). Onychodictyon was probably a predator that crawled across the sea floor, using its sturdy curved grasping claws to capture prey and climb over objects. The sclerites on its back may have helped to defend against larger predators.
Created for the First Animals exhibition at Oxford University Museum of Natural History: www.oum.ox.ac.uk/firstanimals
Model by Mighty Fossils: www.mightyfossils.com