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   6 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

  • Christian Piette
    Christian Piette   2 days 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   6 days ago

    why did horsehoe crabs survive

  • Lytlo Charlotte
    Lytlo Charlotte   1 weeks ago

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

  • Ed Tolson
    Ed Tolson   1 weeks 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 weeks ago

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

  • Lone wolf
    Lone wolf   2 weeks ago

    I'm sorry, I hate all bugs equally.

  • X X
    X X   3 weeks 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   1 months ago

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

  • Marino Torre
    Marino Torre   1 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   1 months ago

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

  • Brenan H
    Brenan H   1 months ago

    1:28 looks kind of like a cabbage patch kid

  • Gabriel Rioux
    Gabriel Rioux   1 months ago

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

  • Lalu
    Lalu   1 months ago

    The nope in the ocean

  • Woko100
    Woko100   1 months ago

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

  • Steven Madrid
    Steven Madrid   1 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?

  • Brad Gilbert
    Brad Gilbert   1 months ago

    I'm totally ok with giant scorpions being extinct

  • Rune scape
    Rune scape   2 months ago

    Wouldnt our ancestors be weird variants living amongst these horrors?

  • jesse wilson
    jesse wilson   2 months ago

    Would if they tasted like large lobsters

  • HardToMell o
    HardToMell o   2 months ago

    Sea scorpions were the first creatures to walk on land

  • spookysugar_PrizOM
    spookysugar_PrizOM   2 months ago

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

  • Leon Wi.
    Leon Wi.   2 months 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   2 months ago

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

  • Steven
    Steven   2 months ago

    Yo booty is thick as a brick.

  • Nicholas Cox
    Nicholas Cox   2 months ago

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