Chinese scientists have found fossils of an ancient, spikey-thorny creature dubbed a “walking cactus”.
The 2.4-inch-long (6-centimeter-long) Diania cactiformis had a worm-like body and ten pairs of presumably jointed legs, covered in thorns.
It was estimated to have lived about 500 million years ago during a period of rapid evolution called the Cambrian explosion.
“I was really surprised. I said, What’s that strange guy with the soft body with very strong legs?” said Jianni Liu, the earth scientist at Northwest University in Xi’an, China who discovered the fossils of the Walking cactus.
The walking cactus’s unusual limbs strengthen the theory that modern arthropods evolved from lobopodians, the study authors say.
The real question—we think, is Where was this little cactus guy walking to? Mexico, where all the rest of the REAL cacti are?