A black-and-white ink illustration of an extinct horseshoe crab. It has a wide shield-like head with backwards-projecting spikes at the sides, vaguely reminiscent of the shape of Darth Vader's helmet.

Vaderlimulus tricki, a horseshoe crab from the Early Triassic of Idaho, USA (~251-247 mya). Named for its resemblance to the shape of Darth Vader’s helmet, it’s the earliest known Mesozoic horseshoe crab from North America and was closely related to another oddly-shaped form from Australia.

It was much smaller than its modern relatives, only about 10cm long (4″), and probably lived in a brackish estuary environment where seawater and freshwater met.

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