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A scorpion the size of a dog once swam the waters around the shores of China

A scorpion the size of a dog once swam the waters around the shores of China
(Image credit: YANG Dinghua)

An ancient fossilized sea scorpion that was the size of the size of a dog was discovered inside the Lower Silurian region of South China this is the first time that a huge eurypterid was discovered in this region in the globe.

The fossil is part of Terropterus xiushanensis Gen. and the sp. nov. It is a part of the Mixopterids which is a family of eurypterids distinguished by special arms that are adorned with special teeth-like structures that were used to catch prey in a type of basket catch when it hunted on the seafloor.

"Our knowledge of mixopterids is limited to only four species in two genera," Professor Wang Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a statement "which were all based on a few fossil specimens from the Silurian Laurussia 80 years ago."

The research, published in Science Bulletin will expand our understanding of the geographical distribution of these megafauna across the globe and their astonishing biological diversity.

T. is described by xiushanensis as having one meter long, with a prosomal limb that is particularly wide that is distinguished by its unique spine arrangement. It scoured the shallow waters in the supercontinent's primordial waters of Gondwanan which was one of two fragments of the single landmass of Pangaea when it split. It is believed that it existed between 443.8 million to 419.2 million years ago.

"Our knowledge of these bizarre animals is limited to only four species in two genera described 80 years ago: Mixopterus kiaeri from Norway, Mixopterus multispinosus from New York, Mixopterus simonsoni from Estonia and Lanarkopterus dolichoschelus from Scotland," the researchers wrote in their study.

"Our first Gondwanan mixopterid -- along with other eurypterids from China and some undescribed specimens -- suggests an under-collecting bias in this group," researchers concluded. "Future work, especially in Asia, may reveal a more cosmopolitan distribution of mixopterids and perhaps other groups of eurypterids."

Analysis: Megafauna aren't just wooly mammoths or dinosaurs.

In the case of megafauna prehistoric, the staggering variety of species is astonishing.

A dog-sized scorpion is certainly a striking fossil there are a myriad of incredibly large creatures that could look like something from a horror movie should they walk on the surface or roam around the oceans in the present.

This is amazing in many ways because evolution focused on reducing the species' physical mass to the minimum extent possible because the more massive an object is, the greater power and energy it needs to put into it to keep it.

Nature's reason for allowing the creation of such huge creatures is an open question however, there is a belief that these creatures were born during a colderand more glacial time and then slowly began to die off as Earth's climate became warmer with time. It's likely to be a good thing because very few of us like to see T. Zhoushanensis swarming the ancient oceans off the coast of present-day China.

Via Tech Radar

A scorpion the size of a dog once swam the waters around the shores of China Reviewed by John Colston on 10/25/2021 12:16:00 AM Rating: 5

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