Facts about Sea Scorpions, an extinct prehistoric animal

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Dinosaur Jungle   >   Other Prehistoric Animals   >   Sea Scorpions

Sea Scorpions



Scientific Classification
  Kingdom Animalia
  Superphylum Ecdysozoa
  (unranked) Panarthropoda
  Phylum Arthropoda
  Subphylum Chelicerata
  Class Eurypterida
Sea Scorpions ("Eurypterids") are a group of extinct arthropods that may possibly predate the earliest fishes. These animals are not true scorpions (which are part of the class Arachnida), but are believed to be related to the Arachnids and Xiphosura (horseshoe crabs) - indeed, historically, they have often been classified together with horseshoe crabs as "Merostomata".

The earliest fossils of Sea Scorpions date from the Ordovician period, about 460 million years ago, although an earlier trace fossil ("Protichnites"), dated to the Cambrian period, about 510 million years ago, is evidence of a land living predatory arthropod, which may well be an early Eurypterid.

Sea Scorpions were predators. They evolved in warm shallow seas, but in later periods they tended to live in freshwater or brackish water, rather than the sea. The fossils of Sea Scorpions are found throughout the world, and it is thought possible that some species may have been amphibious - coming on to land for part of their lifecycle, and probably capable of breathing in both water and air.

In life, Sea Scorpions had a semicircular carapace, a jointed section containing twelve body segments, and a long tail which often tapered and ended with a spine. The spine on the tail, was in some cases spiked, but it is unclear whether it could have been venomous. Sea Scorpions had a pair of compound eyes, and a paid of smaller eyes ("ocelli") between them. Attached to the carapace were paddles, and these could have been used for swimming, and possibly digging. Sea Scorpions also had two large claws at the front ("chelicerae"), and four pairs of jointed legs - fossil trackways suggest that some species may have used six-legged (hexapodous) and others eight-legged (octopodous) gaits.

Most species of Sea Scorpions were quite small, less than 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length. However there were also some larger types - the genus Jaekelopterus, seems to have included animals up to about 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length.

Since 1984, Eurypterus remipes, a species of Sea Scorpion has been the State of Fossil of New York.

Sea Scorpions Timeline:



Sea Scorpions were arthropods that lived in the seas between 510 and 248 million years ago

Sea Scorpions were arthropods that lived in the seas between 510 and 248 million years ago


Related Information & Resources


See Also

Eurypterid Books


Here are some books from Amazon.com:

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EURYPTERIDS ILLUSTRATED The Search for Prehistoric Sea Scorpions
By Samuel J. Ciurca

self-published
Paperback

EURYPTERIDS ILLUSTRATED The Search for Prehistoric Sea Scorpions
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Description:
EURYPTERIDS ILLUSTRATED The Search for Prehistoric Sea Scorpions
  • Manufacturer: self-published
  • ISBN: 1450726569
  • EAN: 9781450726566
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Author: Samuel J. Ciurca
Features:
  • Contains over 50 illustrations with notes - should be of interest to fossil collectors and researchers.
Click here for more information
Eurypterids of the Devonian Holland Quarry Shale of Ohio: Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.14, No.5
By Erik N Kjellesvig-Waering

Sagwan Press
Released: February 7th, 2018
Paperback (24 pages)

Eurypterids of the Devonian Holland Quarry Shale of Ohio: Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.14, No.5
Lowest New Price: $9.95*
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Description:
Eurypterids of the Devonian Holland Quarry Shale of Ohio: Fieldiana, Geology, Vol.14, No.5
  • Manufacturer: Sagwan Press
  • ISBN: 1376988186
  • EAN: 9781376988185
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 24
  • Author: Erik N Kjellesvig-Waering
  • Publication Date: February 7th, 2018
  • Release Date: February 7th, 2018
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.21258 Inches by 6.14172 Inches by 0.0496062 Inches
  • Weight: 0.110231131 Pounds
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A New Ordovician Eurypterid
By Ellis William Shuler

Kindle Edition (7 pages)

A New Ordovician Eurypterid
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Description:
A New Ordovician Eurypterid

Details:
  • Kindle Edition
  • Format: Kindle eBook
  • Number of Pages: 7
  • Author: Ellis William Shuler
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Eurypterids of the Devonian Holland Quarry Shale of Ohio
By Erik N Kjellesvig-Waering

Sagwan Press
Released: August 23rd, 2015
Hardcover (24 pages)

Eurypterids of the Devonian Holland Quarry Shale of Ohio
Lowest New Price: $19.95*
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Description:
Eurypterids of the Devonian Holland Quarry Shale of Ohio
  • Manufacturer: Sagwan Press
  • ISBN: 1340075105
  • EAN: 9781340075101
Details:
  • Hardcover
  • Number of Pages: 24
  • Author: Erik N Kjellesvig-Waering
  • Publication Date: August 23rd, 2015
  • Release Date: August 23rd, 2015
Physical Description:
  • Size: 9.21 Inches by 6.14 Inches by 0.25 Inches
  • Weight: 0.48060773116 Pounds
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The Eurypterid-bearing Deposits of the Pentland Hills. A rare original article from the British Association for the Advancement of Science report, 1894.
By and others Dr. R.H. Traquair

Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 64th. Meeting, Oxford, 1894.
Paperback

The Eurypterid-bearing Deposits of the Pentland Hills. A rare original article from the British Association for the Advancement of Science report, 1894.
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Description:
The Eurypterid-bearing Deposits of the Pentland Hills. A rare original article from the British Association for the Advancement of Science report, 1894.
  • Manufacturer: Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 64th. Meeting, Oxford, 1894.
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Author: and others Dr. R.H. Traquair
Click here for more information
Fossils of Ontario, Part 3: The Eurypterids and Phyllocarids (LIFE SCIENCES MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATION)
By M. J. Copeland

Royal Ontario Museum
Released: June 1st, 1985
Paperback

Fossils of Ontario, Part 3: The Eurypterids and Phyllocarids (LIFE SCIENCES MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATION)
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Description:
Fossils of Ontario, Part 3: The Eurypterids and Phyllocarids (LIFE SCIENCES MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATION)
  • Manufacturer: Royal Ontario Museum
  • ISBN: 088854314X
  • EAN: 9780888543141
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Authors: M. J. Copeland, Thomas E. Bolton
  • Publication Date: June 1st, 1985
  • Release Date: June 1st, 1985
Click here for more information
New York State Museum Bulletin No. 272 August 1926 The Utica And Lorraine Formations Of New York Part 2 Systematic Paleontology No. 2 Mollusks, Crustaceans And Eurypterids [this Part Only]
By Rudolf Ruedemann

University of the State of New York
Paperback
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Description:
New York State Museum Bulletin No. 272 August 1926 The Utica And Lorraine Formations Of New York Part 2 Systematic Paleontology No. 2 Mollusks, Crustaceans And Eurypterids [this Part Only]
  • Manufacturer: University of the State of New York
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Author: Rudolf Ruedemann
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THE VENTRAL ANATOMY OF THE UPPER CARBONIFEROUS EURYPTERID 'ANTHRACONECTES' MEEK AND WORTHEN.
By L. J. Wills

1964)
Paperback
Lowest Used Price: $47.97*
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Description:
THE VENTRAL ANATOMY OF THE UPPER CARBONIFEROUS EURYPTERID 'ANTHRACONECTES' MEEK AND WORTHEN.
  • Manufacturer: 1964)
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Author: L. J. Wills
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Upper Ordovician Eurypterids of Ohio
By Kenneth Edward Caster

Paleontographica Americana
Pamphlet (62 pages)
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Upper Ordovician Eurypterids of Ohio
  • Manufacturer: Paleontographica Americana
Details:
  • Product Category: Pamphlet
  • Number of Pages: 62
  • Author: Kenneth Edward Caster
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The Eurypterid-bearing Rocks of the Pentland Hills. A rare original article from the British Association for the Advancement of Science report, 1898.
By and others Dr. R.H. Trequair

Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 68th. Meeting, Bristol, 1898.
Paperback
Lowest Used Price: $21.00*
In Stock.*
*(As of 19:33 Pacific 12 Aug 2020 More Info)


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Description:
The Eurypterid-bearing Rocks of the Pentland Hills. A rare original article from the British Association for the Advancement of Science report, 1898.
  • Manufacturer: Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 68th. Meeting, Bristol, 1898.
Details:
  • Paperback
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Author: and others Dr. R.H. Trequair
Click here for more information


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