On the News | Giant sea scorpions used serrated tail spines to slay prey, Edmonton study finds @ CBC News

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Giant sea scorpions used serrated tail spines to slay prey, Edmonton study finds


This illustration shows how ancient sea scorpions used their claws and serrated tails to dispatch their prey. Image Credit: Nathan Rogers (@source)

“Ancient sea scorpions, which once crawled the primordial seas, used serrated, slashing tail spines to overpower their prey, new research from the University of Alberta suggests.

These predators thrived in warm, shallow waters across the globe, long before the evolution of barracudas or sharks, 430 million years ago.

Related to the modern scorpion and horseshoe crabs, sea scorpions — or eurypterids — had thin, flexible bodies. Some species also had pincer claws and could grow up to three metres in length, making them the largest known arthropods to have ever lived.

“If you saw one, it would be a little bit like a cross between a lobster and a dragonfly,” Scott Persons, paleontologist and lead author on the study, said during an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

“It has a long segmented body — some of them do have long pinching claws — and then it has got this head, which if it weren’t for all the features would actually be pretty cute, because it’s got these large eyes, probably important for detecting and zeroing in on its prey.”” (…) READ MORE

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)