• Counter :
  • 2188
  • Date :
  • 6/7/2011

Giant Sea Scorpions

sea scorpion

Eurypterids (sea scorpions) are an extinct group of arthropods related to arachnids which include the largest known arthropods that ever lived.

They are members of the extinct order Eurypterida (Chelicerata); which is the most diverse Paleozoic chelicerate order in terms of species.The name Eurypterida comes from the Greek word eury- meaning "broad" or "wide" and the Greek word pteron meaning "wing". They predate the earliest fishes. The largest, such as Jaekelopterus, reached 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) or more in length, but most species were less than 20 centimetres (8 in). They were formidable predators that thrived in warm shallow water, in both seas and lakes,[3] in the Ordovician to Permian from 460 to 248 million years ago. Although informally called 'sea scorpions', only the earliest ones were marine (later ones lived in brackish or freshwater), and they were not true scorpions. According to theory, the move from the sea to fresh water probably occurred by the Pennsylvanian subperiod. They went extinct during the Permian–Triassic extinction event 251 million years ago, and their fossils have a near global distribution.

About two dozen families of eurypterids are known. Eurypterus is perhaps the most well-known genus of eurypterid, of which 18 fossil species are known. The genus Eurypterus was created in 1825 by James Ellsworth DeKay, a zoologist. He recognized the arthropod nature of the first ever described eurypterid specimen found by Dr. S. L. Mitchell. In 1984, Eurypterus remipes was named the state fossil of New York.

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

Other Links:

Fact of the Day: Romans and lead

Fact of the Day: Chemical agents in tobacco smoke

Fact of the Day: Biggest stress on married couples

  • Print

    Send to a friend

    Comment (0)