“Imagine an eight-foot-long scorpion,” said O. Erik Tetlie, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale, and an author of the report online in Royal Society Biology Letters. “The claw itself is a foot-and-a-half long — indicating that these ancient arthropods were much larger than previous estimates — and certainly the largest seen to date.”
Colleague and co-author Markus Poschmann discovered the fossil claw from this ancient sea scorpion, Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, in a quarry near Prüm in Germany. This creature, which lived between 460 and 255 million years ago is of a group that have been known for some time to be among the largest extinct arthropods, based on both body fossils and trace fossils. According to the authors, it is believed that these extinct aquatic creatures are the ancestors of modern scorpions and spiders.
Tetlie said that geologists are debating the reasons for evolution of these giant arthropods, “While some believe they evolved with the higher levels of atmospheric oxygen that were present in the past, some say they evolved in a parallel ‘arms race’ with early armoured fish that were their likely prey.” he said
Lead author Simon Braddy from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, UK said, “This is an amazing discovery. We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies, but we never realised, until now, just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were.”
The Norwegian Research Council funded Tetlie’s work on the evolutionary relationships of the ancient organisms.
Citation: Royal Society Biology Letters early online November 21, 2007.
Janet Rettig Emanuel | EurekAlert!
More than 100 years of flooding and erosion in 1 event
28.03.2017 | Geological Society of America
Satellites reveal bird habitat loss in California
28.03.2017 | Duke University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy