Kooteninchela deppi: Ancient Lobster-Like Beast with Scissor Claws, Honoring Johnny Depp, Dominated the Seas 500 Million Years Ago

The Kooteninchela deppi was a an ancestor of modern-day lobsters and scorpions. This artist reconstruction shows it had scissor-like claws

A lobster-like beast that lived 500 million years ago has been named after Hollywood actor Johnny Depp because of its ‘scissor hand’ claws.

Actor Johnny Depp immortalised in ancient fossil find | Imperial News |  Imperial College London

The extinct creature called Kooteninchela deppi (pronounced Koo-ten-ee-che-la depp-eye) was named after Depp by scientists from Imperial College London who made the discovery.

Kooteninchela deppi is helping researchers piece together more information about life on Earth during the Cambrian period, which happened more than 1.9million years ago and was when nearly all modern animal types emerged.

Kooteninchela deppi by Slothartworks on DeviantArt

Lead researcher David Legg said: ‘When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands.

‘Even the genus name, Kooteninchela, includes the reference to this film as ‘chela’ is Latin for claws or scissors.

‘I am also a Depp fan and what better way to honour the man than to immortalise him as an ancient creature that once roamed the sea?’

In the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp (right) starred opposite Dianne West (left) and played an artificial man who had scissors for hands. His inventor, played in the film by Vincent Price, died before giving Edward human hands. These blades were the inspiration for David Legg when he was naming the recently discovered fossils of a lobster-like creature that lived 500 million years ago

THE KOOTENINCHELA DEPPI

The sea scavenger, Kooteninchela deppi is a distant relative of lobsters and scorpions.

It lived in shallow seas off the cost of British Columbia in Canada.

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It was approximately four centimetres long with a trunk for a body and millipede-like legs.

It had large eyes which it used to search for food along the sea floor.

The researchers discovered that Kooteninchela deppi belongs to a group known as the ‘great-appendage’ arthropods, which includes spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, insects and crabs.

Johnny Depp starred as Edward Scissorhands in the cult film of the same name in 1990.

It was directed by Tim Burton and was about a man called Edward, built by an inventor who died before giving him hands.

The sea scavenger, Kooteninchela deppi is a distant relative of lobsters and scorpions.

It lived in shallow seas off the cost of British Columbia in Canada.

It was approximately four centimetres long with a trunk for a body and millipede-like legs and large eyes which it used to search for food along the sea floor, according to research published in the Journal of Palaeontology.

Fossil specimens of the Kooteninchela deppi – a lobster-like creature that lived 500 million years ago. It was discovered by David Legg from Imperial College London. Legg named the fossils after Hollywood actor Johnny Depp partly because of its scissor-like claws, and partly because Legg is a Depp fan

The Kooteninchela deppi is an ancestor of modern-day lobsters, pictured

The researchers discovered that Kooteninchela deppi belongs to a group known as the ‘great-appendage’ arthropods, which includes spiders, scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, insects and crabs.

Mr Legg said: ‘Just imagine it – the prawns covered in mayonnaise in your sandwich, the spider climbing up your wall and even the fly that has been banging into your window and annoyingly flying into your face are all descendants of Kooteninchela deppi.’

‘Current estimates indicate that there are more than one million known insects and potentially 10 million more yet to be categorised, which potentially means that Kooteninchela Deppi has a huge family tree.’

Legg now wants to study the fossils from the Ordovician period, when species diversity increased.

Sia

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