Current modeling approaches seldom integrate these features together because they are not able to take into account all this complexity. Background The incompleteness of the fossil record makes reconstructing animal ecosystems of the past, a particularly challenging task. The inference of such a molting pattern must therefore remain speculative.
The presence of large carcasses of the priapulid Ottoia prolifica on the slabs with the megacheiran exuviae could be interpreted as an indication for such an interpretation.
While synchronized molting might have also occurred in other Burgess Shale species, in particular those that occur in large clusters of specimens for example, in the bradoriid Kunmingella burgessensisthe fossil examples provided in this study are the clearest cases found so far.
Sooner or later population is faced with limitations. As long as there are enough resources available, there will be an increase in the number of individuals in a population over time, or apositive growth rate.
The new findings presented here and the resulting discussion can be seen as first steps into a palaeo-eco-devo approach. A single specimen of C. Additionally, the telson has a pronounced keel not known in other megacheirans from the Burgess Shale. Fertility depends on the ratio of the breeding season, and overall length of life, as well as the fertility of individuals.
These limits are called the environmental capacity for specific populations. The Burgess Shale biota once more contributes exciting new insights into Cambrian life. But it can't shrink endlessly.