See the Primordial Sea Scorpion That Resembles an Age of Empires Warship

See the Primordial Sea Scorpion That Resembles an Age of Empires Warship

Researchers have unearthed the oldest sea scorpion yet known to man. Six feet long and resembling an ancient warship, it terrorized what is now Iowa half a billion years ago.

Ancient Iowa was apparently home to one of the earliest large predators yet known to science, researchers announced this week. They have unearthed remarkably well-preserved fossils of an animal they are naming Pentecopterus decorahensis.

The name comes from a resemblance the animal bears to an ancient Greek warship known as the penteconter. "Pentecopterus was an incredibly bizarre animal, with a long head that looked somewhat like the prow of a ship, a narrow body and massively enlarged limbs that it used to capture prey," says Yale paleontologist James Lamsdell. "It would have been the largest predator in its environment and would have grabbed prey with its large, spiny legs and then pulled it towards its mouth."

I personally don't see the resemblance - then again, I really don't want to see one of these nightmare-fuelling things at all. Derek Briggs, one of Lamsdell's fellow researchers, agrees: "You would not want one of these in your swimming pool." Correct, Derek, I would not want one in my pool.

I'm just going to take a stand and say everything was terrifying back then.

You can see for yourself how well these fossils have held together over 460 million years in the gallery below (also included is a mock-up of what the animal may look like in its natural habitat, as well as modern horseshoe crabs for reference, courtesy of Wikipedia):

The enormous sea scorpion - measuring nearly six feet - is the earliest discovered member of the extinct eurypterid group (not The Eurythmics). These monstrous beasts may be long gone, but half a billion years later you see their modern relatives everywhere - they include terrestrial spiders (which still swim!) and horseshoe crabs.

Fun fact: horseshoe crabs are not actually crabs, let alone crustaceans!

Source: Reuters

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So what you're saying is we need to get Doc Brown to turn Gypsy Danger into a time traveling Jaeger.
Good, we have a game plan.

Silentpony:
So what you're saying is we need to get Doc Brown to turn Gypsy Danger into a time traveling Jaeger.
Good, we have a game plan.

That is actually exactly what I am saying. "Hey, Gypsy. It's your cousin Marvin - Marvin Danger? You know that new Kaiju you've been lookin' for?"

Now we need a fossil that loks like a Cobra car.

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Rad Party God:

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How DO you turn this on?

Unless the sea scorpion can say "Wololo", I'm not impressed.

Still, it does look a bit scary. Wouldn't wanna encounter it while underwater (and I lived around the time it swam the oceans).

Huh...odd choice of content and headline for this article, IMHO, but factual and without being clickbaity or deliberately misleading.

Kevlar Eater:
Unless the sea scorpion can say "Wololo", I'm not impressed.

Still, it does look a bit scary. Wouldn't wanna encounter it while underwater (and I lived around the time it swam the oceans).

well what you want to remember about that thing that doesnt look scary, is that they where about 12 feet long, bigger than most crocodiles

An incredibly bizarre comparison, but I suppose I can see the resemblance to a turtle ship or a Juggernaut:

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at 6 feets long is about 1.8 meters or around the same as the average man stands tall i dont want anything bigger than me to have claws not when im this squishy

 

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