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Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ancient sea scorpion was 8 feet long

November 21, 2007

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— One of its claws might feed an entire family, but this sea creature would be more likely to eat the family.

British researchers said Tuesday that they have discovered an 18-inch-long fossilized claw of an ancient sea scorpion that would have been 8 feet long, making it the largest arthropod ever discovered.

"We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies. But we never realized until now just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were," said paleontologist Simon J. Braddy of the University of Bristol, the primary author of the report in the journal Biology Letters.

Sea scorpions became extinct about 250 million years ago, but they were precursors of modern land-based scorpions.

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