A blast from the past!
The stomatopod group, which now consists of over 400 described species, split off from other crustaceans around 400 million years ago. Typical of most crustaceans, they had numerous pairs of specialized legs.
Compare the fossil (left) with the drawing belowwhat parts of the fossil can you identify?
Early stomatopods most likely lived in the sand and mud at the bottom of the ocean, sorting through the sediment for food. Around 200 million years ago, one pair of legs evolved into raptorial appendages (or raps), powerful hunting tools. This had radical consequences for many aspects of stomatopod behavior.