Anomalocaris reconstruction

Artist's reconstruction of the prehistoric predator Anomalocaris

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I've got my eye on you

Gliding through the murky sea, Anomalocaris suddenly strikes out with spiny claws to grab its startled prey before munching on it with teeth-like serrations.

Anomalocaris could grow up to a metre in length and was the dominant predator when it lived more than 500 million years ago, largely thanks to its excellent eyesight.

Museum palaeontologist Dr Greg Edgecombe was part of the team of scientists who proved in 2011 that Anomalocaris had compound eyes. Such eyes provide a wide field of view and are particularly good at detecting movement.

Using extremely high-resolution microscopes to examine Anomalocaris fossils, the team discovered that each large eye contained more than 16,000 lenses.

Come face to face with Anomalocaris in David Attenborough’s First Life virtual reality experience. You'll also meet other incredible prehistoric sea creatures during this 15 minute adventure, as they swim, crawl and hunt for food around you.