“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!
New 3D view of methane tracks sources
25.03.2020 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
East Antarctica's Denman Glacier has retreated almost 3 miles over last 22 years
24.03.2020 | University of California - Irvine
Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.
The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....
An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications
With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...
Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.
Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...
Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of...
26.03.2020 | Event News
23.03.2020 | Event News
03.03.2020 | Event News
27.03.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences