|Waptia specimens with the egg clusters highlighted|
'This creature is expanding our perspective on the diversification of brood care in early arthropods,' said Vannier, the co-author of the study. 'The relatively large size of the eggs and the small number of them, contrasts with the high number of small eggs found previously in another bivalved arthropod known as Kunmingella douvillei. And though that creature predates Waptia by about seven million years, none of its eggs contained embryos.'
The smaller clutch size in Waptia would have allowed the parent to devote more parental care to each egg and possibly the offspring compared to what Kunmingella could offer. In turn this would increase the chances of survival of each egg and hatchling. The Cambrian was a time of great change ecologically, anatomically and phyletically. Increasing complexity would undoubtedly have brought about new and complex behaviours. Yet brooding behaviours are only a recent discovery. The insight they may provide into the mechanics of the Cambrian Explosion is yet to be fully explored.