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Eyes see you!

Thankfully, the Anomalocaris is extinct, because there’s no hiding from this Cambrian superpredator. Scientists examinning the 515-million-year-old fossil of this unusual animal discovered that it has upwards of 16,000 eyes…

It takes a microscope to see them, but individual lenses were preserved in each eye. For someone who has seen countless images of the compound eyes of Drosophila, they are startling in how modern they look. Based on their density, the authors estimate that each eye housed 16,000 individual lenses, the most that have ever been seen on any animal we know about. Based on the curve of the eye and what we know about modern compound eyes, they suggest that the animal had very good visual acuity.

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