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   4 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

  • 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?

  • Brad Gilbert
    Brad Gilbert   4 days ago

    I'm totally ok with giant scorpions being extinct

  • Rune scape
    Rune scape   1 weeks ago

    Wouldnt our ancestors be weird variants living amongst these horrors?

  • jesse wilson
    jesse wilson   1 weeks ago

    Would if they tasted like large lobsters

  • HardToMell o
    HardToMell o   1 weeks ago

    Sea scorpions were the first creatures to walk on land

  • spookysugar_PrizOM
    spookysugar_PrizOM   2 weeks ago

    I wonder if this is the reason why Scorpio is a water sign. 🤔

  • Leon Wi.
    Leon Wi.   2 weeks ago

    why are their respiratory Systems called "Kiemenplatten"? That is literally the german Translation of "gill-plates". so why not just that?

  • Yes Dude
    Yes Dude   3 weeks ago

    4:00 What's up with this foot long hand?

  • Steven
    Steven   3 weeks ago

    Yo booty is thick as a brick.

  • Nicholas Cox
    Nicholas Cox   3 weeks ago

    10:25 that is an arrow crab not a sea spider.

  • sonorasgirl
    sonorasgirl   1 months ago

    PBS eons - “we love all creatures! They’re fascinating”.Later...PBS eons - “hibbertopterus. What a weirdo” 😂

  • Sidhanth Mishra
    Sidhanth Mishra   1 months ago

    Incredible video. Flawless presentation and material. Amazing.

  • YaoLi Jiang
    YaoLi Jiang   1 months ago

    I kept hearing in my head "YEET-kelopterus" like this little guy would pick up some tiny prey and just YEET it bc it was a picky eater...

  • Dennis Bythewood
    Dennis Bythewood   1 months ago

    Thank you for this channle , i love it. However, the horseshoe crab, has blue blood because it uses copper as an oxidiser instead of iron. It would be interesting to hear some evelutionary theorisation in relation its extinct lineage. Id be very interested to learn more about horseshoe crabs as i currently know very little. Again, thank you for these videos. Pbs is awesome. If i had more money, id write you a check.

  • Yvonne Rogers
    Yvonne Rogers   1 months ago

    Thanks for the videos! This stuff is so interesting! I for one would like more clarification on geological time. What factors go into determining the beginning and end of a period/epoch/era/eon? How likely is it any of us currently around will live to see scientists announce the end of the Holocene? Thanks again!

  • King Fish
    King Fish   2 months ago

    Horseshoe crabs, an oldie but a goodie.

  • Steel Man
    Steel Man   2 months ago

    Your honor, Lecreaspus could not have possibly been killed by my client Sea Scorpion. My client is an honorable member of Selurian society, and the prosecution has only circumstantial evidence....AT BEST.Now i might just be a backwater sponge lawyer, but even I know those marks could have been formed by just about any arthropod. I posit this here jawless fish committed suicide

  • Youdheya Banerjee
    Youdheya Banerjee   2 months ago

    Very good & highly interesting genesis of the largest non vertibrates!!

  • Sniccups
    Sniccups   2 months ago

    Why do you say that Brachyopterus had 10 legs when all the pictures show only 8?

  • Andrew J. Williams
    Andrew J. Williams   2 months ago

    3 Holes To Head Wouldn't Be a Bad Way Go! And OMFG Thats alot a Armor!

  • ZeroFox75
    ZeroFox75   3 months ago

    Me: I hate creepy crawly thingsAlso me: clicks on giant scorpion video