When Giant Scorpions Swarmed the Seas

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  • Published on: 02 April 2019
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    Sea scorpions thrived for 200 million years, coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Over time, they developed a number of adaptations--from crushing claws to flattened tails for swimming. And some of them adapted by getting so big that they still hold the record as the largest arthropods of all time.

    Thank you to these paleoartists for allowing us to use their wonderful illustrations:
    Franz Anthony: https://252mya.com/gallery/franz-anthony
    Ceri Thomas: http://alphynix.tumblr.com/
    Lucas Lima: https://252mya.com/gallery/lucas-lima
    Julio Lacerda: https://252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda
    Nobu Tamura: https://spinops.blogspot.com/


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    References:
    Braddy, Simon J., Richard J. Aldridge, Sarah E. Gabbott, and Johannes N. Theron. "Lamellate book-gills in a late Ordovician eurypterid from the Soom Shale, South Africa: support for a eurypterid-scorpion clade." Lethaia 32, no. 1 (1999): 72-74.
    Braddy, Simon J., Markus Poschmann, and O. Erik Tetlie. "Giant claw reveals the largest ever arthropod." Biology Letters 4, no. 1 (2007): 106-109. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsbl.2007.0491
    Brezinski, David K., and Albert D. Kollar. "Reevaluation of the Age and Provenance of the Giant Palmichnium kosinskiorum Eurypterid Trackway, from Elk County, Pennsylvania." Annals of Carnegie Museum 84, no. 1 (2016): 39-45.
    Briggs, Derek EG, and WD Ian Rolfe. "A giant arthropod trackway from the Lower Mississippian of Pennsylvania." Journal of Paleontology (1983): 377-390. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1304661.pdf?seq=1
    Elliott, David K., and Michael A. Petriello. "New poraspids (Agnatha, Heterostraci) from the Early Devonian of the western United States." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31, no. 3 (2011): 518-530.
    Lamsdell, James C., and Simon J. Braddy. "Cope's Rule and Romer's theory: patterns of diversity and gigantism in eurypterids and Palaeozoic vertebrates." Biology Letters (2009): doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0700
    Lamsdell, James C., Simon J. Braddy, and O. Erik Tetlie. "Redescription of Drepanopterus abonensis (Chelicerata: Eurypterida: Stylonurina) from the Late Devonian of Portishead, UK." Palaeontology 52, no. 5 (2009): 1113-1139.
    Legg, David A. "Sanctacaris uncata: the oldest chelicerate (Arthropoda). "Naturwissenschaften 101, no. 12 (2014): 1065-1073.
    Manning, P. L. and Dunlop, J. A. “The respiratory organs of eurypterids.” Palaeontology, 38, no. 2 (1995): 287–297.
    McCoy, Victoria E., James C. Lamsdell, Markus Poschmann, Ross P. Anderson, and Derek EG Briggs. "All the better to see you with: eyes and claws reveal the evolution of divergent ecological roles in giant pterygotid eurypterids." Biology letters 11, no. 8 (2015): 20150564.
    Poschmann, Markus, Brigitte Schoenemann, and Victoria E. McCoy. "Telltale eyes: the lateral visual systems of Rhenish Lower Devonian eurypterids (Arthropoda, Chelicerata) and their palaeobiological implications." Palaeontology 59, no. 2 (2016): 295-304.
    Selden, P. A., and John David Lawson. "Eurypterid respiration." Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 309, no. 1138 (1985): https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rstb.1985.0081
    Tetlie, O. Erik. "Distribution and dispersal history of Eurypterida (Chelicerata)." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 252, no. 3-4 (2007): 557-574. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6434/bc6cdbfd7613c5dc725333a5b003975c6c50.pdf
    Vrazo, Matthew B., and Simon J. Braddy. "Testing the ‘mass-moult-mate’hypothesis of eurypterid palaeoecology." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 311, no. 1-2 (2011): 63-73.
    Whyte, Martin A. "Palaeoecology: a gigantic fossil arthropod trackway." Nature 438, no. 7068 (2005): 576.
  • Runtime : 11:41
  • dinosaurs dinos paleo paleontology scishow eons pbs pbs digital studios hank green john green complexly fossils natural history jawless fish sea scorpions Jaekelopterus Silurian Devonian placoderms arthropods eurypterids scorpions Stylonuria Chelicerata arachnids telsons claws Eurytperina Hibbertopterus kiemenplatten The Great Dying

COMMENTS: 40

  • PBS Eons
    PBS Eons   8 months ago

    Hi everyone! Thanks for the heads up about the flash frames in the video. The issue appears to have resolved on its own? I hope you were still able enjoy this video about these enormous and terrifying arthropods. -Seth

  • G G
    G G   1 days ago

    Channels like this are a reminder that one doesn't need to look at the Universe... The Earth was strange enough.

  • Hadleigh Martin
    Hadleigh Martin   2 days ago

    When the lobsters saw all the giant fish popping up in their area"They're bringing drugs, they're rapists, I'm sure some of them are nice fish"

  • Nerom
    Nerom   3 weeks ago

    "Kiemenplatten" is german for gill plates

  • MtnTow
    MtnTow   3 weeks ago

    Go find a bigger pot and ill work on the fire....

  • Mateo A.
    Mateo A.   3 weeks ago

    Sooo.. Just saw a video from 2017 where apparently what seems to be a prehistoric sea scorpion kills a shark... Now I'm scared.

  • Mr Mister
    Mr Mister   1 months ago

    I mean scorpions are related to lobsters and stuff so like

  • CthulhuianBunny
    CthulhuianBunny   1 months ago

    "A big weirdo called Hibbertopterus." Recognizable by its laugh and lab coat.

  • Mr Dounat
    Mr Dounat   1 months ago

    Wait i hawe sen that little fing

  • Per Erik
    Per Erik   1 months ago

    I want outtakes and blooper reels. With all these difficult names i bet theres more than a few blooper reels 😉

  • Ashengel Ignisnocte
    Ashengel Ignisnocte   1 months ago

    I always saw lobsters as mermaid scorpions... I was hoping at the end seeing them linked but I guess I should better study this... 😅😅😅

  • Christian Piette
    Christian Piette   2 months ago

    The extant Japanese spider crab grows to 18ft, so when you say large what do you mean maybe the Heaviest could sound better.

  • bev davis
    bev davis   2 months ago

    why did horsehoe crabs survive

  • Lytlo Charlotte
    Lytlo Charlotte   2 months ago

    isn’t this just a lobster???? If the tail isn’t a poison spike

  • Ed Tolson
    Ed Tolson   2 months ago

    I'm always impressed by the speed and fluency of the narration, especially when there are several Latin names in succession!

  • Woko100
    Woko100   2 months ago

    Life teaches you a lesson to humble yourself and you will last the longest

  • Lone wolf
    Lone wolf   2 months ago

    I'm sorry, I hate all bugs equally.

  • X X
    X X   2 months ago

    I'm rather disappointed. I expected to hear "Silurian: Age of Sea Scorpions" by the Ocean Collective playing in the background. How am I supposed to enjoy the sheer magnitude of these creatures without headbanging to some extremely fine post-metal?

  • François-Xavier Dessureault

    whoah wait how do paleontologists have any idea about the blood (haemolymph?) salinity of eurypterids? I'm sure there's an explanation but I can't guess how that can be figured out from the fossil record

  • Thanks Obama
    Thanks Obama   3 months ago

    For the Metrically challenged...2.5 meters is about 8.2 ft.

  • Marino Torre
    Marino Torre   3 months ago

    When sea spiders (Pycnogonida or Pantopoda) are mentioned towards the end of the video, a picture of an arrow crab is shown, which is a crustacean, not a chelicerate.

  • Micha B
    Micha B   3 months ago

    "Kiemenplatten" is just German for "gill plates". Also, FYI it's pronounced "kee-men"

  • Gabriel Rioux
    Gabriel Rioux   3 months ago

    Where does lobsters come from? Are they related to sea scorpions?

  • Lalu
    Lalu   3 months ago

    The nope in the ocean

  • Woko100
    Woko100   3 months ago

    Place them in the Australian sea and It would have a proper fight

  • Steven Madrid
    Steven Madrid   3 months ago

    Big weirdo😂😂😂7:48, killing it girl. Nice video

  • Trash your Fash and Bash

    TIL that car-sized gigascorpions and butterflies are part of the same animal family. I guess we're all connected if you go back far enough. What even is life?