Wednesday, November 21, 2007

sea scorpion, Huge 400 Million Years Old

Giant scorpion of the sea discovered



Macrocheira kaempferi, which has a leg span of up to 4 m (13 ft) (but the body is just 37 cm (15 in) long) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 pounds). (Arthropods are invertebrates with an exoskeleton and articulated limbs, like spiders, insects, crustaceans and millipedes).

But this is a dwarf compared to giant fossil sea scorpions. In a new research published in the journal Biology Letters, scientists describe the largest sea scorpion found yet, based on a fossil claw.

The 18-in (46-cm) claw probably had an owner with a body 8-ft (2.46-m) long! Sea scorpions are believed to be the aquatic ancestors of modern scorpions and perhaps many arachnid groups (like spiders) and their closest living relatives are horseshoe
crabs.

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