After the first subsequent rains, the invertebrate fauna in these particular pans consisted of many "typical" temporary pan invertebrates, including various large branchiopods
like: Anostraca (Fairy shrimp), Conchostraca (Clam shrimp), and Notostraca (Tadpole shrimp).
Scientists had thought that early arthropods had simpler brains like those of tiny freshwater crustaceans called branchiopods
Some believe that insects evolved from the an ancestor that gave rise to the malacostracans, a group of crustaceans that include crabs and shrimp, while others point to a lineage of less commonly known crustaceans called branchiopods
, which include, for example, brine shrimp.
The other group, which was generally favoured, thought they came from a class of crustaceans called branchiopods
, which include brine shrimp and fairy shrimp.
The particular style of molar ornamentation links the Mount Cap fossils to a clade of crown-group (pan)crustaceans that includes branchiopods
, malacostracans, and hexapods, and thus provides a crucial calibration point for arthropod phylogeny, as well as the earliest record of an arthropod with a sophisticated particle-feeding ecology (Harvey and Butterfield 2008).
Fairy shrimp, tadpole shrimp, and clam shrimp are all capable of this impressive feat, a skill not uncommon among a category of animals called branchiopods
In cooperation with natural heritage program members in all 50 states, NatureServe has compiled, and maintains, a detailed database of over 21,000 plant and animal species in the United States, including nearly 16,200 vascular plants, approximately 2,550 native vertebrate animal species (including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and freshwater fishes), and a wide spectrum of invertebrates (including "all 2,600 species in the following groups: freshwater mussels, freshwater snails, crayfishes, large branchiopods
, butterflies and skippers, underwing moths, tiger beetles, and dragonflies and damselflies").