Let me back up.
Paleontologists discovered a fossil arthropod that strongly resembles a rare kind of critter that is shrimp-like. There are things called the "banded cleaner (or coral) shrimp", but really aren't shrimp. They're classified as closer relatives to lobsters and such than to shrimp. They sure look like shrimp, though.
|"Banded Cleaner Shrimp", Stenopus hispidus / US-NOAA|
Fossils seem to tell amazing stories about ancient animal life, but close inspection reveals that these stories differ from each other not because of different fossils, but because of different interpretations. Do the remarkable circumstances surrounding a newly discovered fossil arthropod tell two stories or just one?If you're not scared, you can read the rest by clicking on "Ghost Lineage Spawns Evolution Ghost Story".
A US team of paleontologists publishing in the Journal of Paleontology described a new fossil arthropod as belonging to a rare shrimp-like kind called stenopodideans. These marine animals have a huge set of third legs, whereas shrimp and lobsters have large first legs.
The fossil looks so much like a living stenopodidean that the study authors were easily able to identify it. But the really remarkable piece of this story is its geologic setting.