The new giant sea scorpion, the first to be discovered in 80 years and the first in Asia, was the apex predator of its time. Scientists say they may have been more common than we thought.
The species has been named T. xiushanensis by scientists and is related to modern day arachnids and horseshoe crabs. Scientists have said that it likely shifted across sea beds using its gigantic claws to scoop up and munch on unsuspecting fish and molluscs.
The 3.3 foot (1 m) ancient beast is thought to have prowled the seas some 430 million years ago, a time when scorpions were massive apex predators. Archaeologists recently discovered the remains of this scorpion (Terropterus xiushanensis), which was a eurypterid. It is an ancient arthropod closely related to modern arachnids and horseshoe crabs.
Its barbed limbs “were presumably used for prey-capture, and analogies can be drawn with the ‘catching basket’ formed by the spiny pedipalps of whip spiders.Pedipalps are the front-most appendages of arachnids. Usually dedicated to transferring sperm from male spiders to female mates. In some arachnids, such as whip spiders, pedipalps have become adapted to snatch prey.
Ancient sea scorpions, known scientifically as Eurypterids, could grow to be as large as humans. This recently discovered species belongs to a family of beasts called Mixopteriade, and one hasn’t been discovered in over 80 years.