Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One for the Creationists...

Man-sized sea scorpion claw found

The immense fossilised claw of a 2.5m-long (8ft) sea scorpion has been described by European researchers.

The 390-million-year-old specimen was found in a German quarry, the journal Biology Letters reports.

The creature, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, would have paddled in a river or swamp.

The size of the beast suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were much larger in the past than previously thought, the team says.

The claw itself measures 46cm - indicating its owner would have been longer even than the average-sized human.

Overall, the estimated size of the animal exceeds the record for any other sea scorpion (eurypterid) find by nearly 50cm.

The eurypterids are believed to be the extinct aquatic ancestors of modern land scorpions and possibly all arachnids (the class of animals that also includes spiders).

"The biggest scorpion today is nearly 30cm so that shows you how big this creature was," said Dr Simon Braddy from the University of Bristol, UK.





It was one of Dr Braddy's co-authors, Markus Poschmann, who made the discovery in the quarry near Prum in western Germany.

"I was loosening pieces of rock with a hammer and chisel when I suddenly realised there was a dark patch of organic matter on a freshly removed slab," he recalled.

"After some cleaning I could identify this as a small part of a large claw. Although I did not know if it was more complete or not, I decided to try and get it out.

"The pieces had to be cleaned separately, dried, and then glued back together. It was then put into a white plaster jacket to stabilise it."

Full article with pictures and video link .

7 Comments:

At 4:56 PM, Blogger BEAJ said...

The lobster doctor on Futurama was pretty big too.
Of course, creationists will use this as evidence that evolution is wrong because of their definition of survival of the fittest.....animals don't evolve to be smaller, only bigger and better, even though that is far from the truth.

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Gert said...

"Survival of the fittest" is indeed one of the most misinterpreted and most misused terms in Biology, no question about that...

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Cookie..... said...

Geez guys....as an amature archaeologist, I found that discovery most interesting...and enjoyed readin about it....but Y'all just had to go and make it a "Creationist" vs Darwin story...

Lighten up men...lifes to short...

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger BEAJ said...

Cookie, if it wasn't for sparring with anti-semites and creationists, the internet would be no fun.

 
At 6:53 PM, Blogger Cookie..... said...

Yupper Beaj...I know...I was just bustin yur balls. I'm sure Gert realizes that...

Like you said...no fun without the sparring matches.. ;-)

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger BEAJ said...

This is a great source for stories if you ever have blogger's cramp.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Thanks BEAJ...

 

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