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November 21, 2007 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Scientists discover fossilized claw of enormous ancient sea scorpion. They estimate this thing was 2.5 meters long. Sorry about the nightmares. [via]
posted by flotson (49 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
"This is an amazing discovery. We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies, but we never realized, until now, just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were," said co-author Dr. Simon Braddy from the University of Bristol.

Someone's writing a large grant proposal.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:30 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


My nightmares are still busy with isopods.
posted by brain_drain at 9:33 AM on November 21, 2007


Scorpions = cool
Dinosaurs = sweet
Bizarre sea-life = rad
Giant bizarre dinosaur sea-scorpion = FREAKIN' AWESOME!

</10 year-old boy>
posted by lekvar at 9:35 AM on November 21, 2007 [3 favorites]


Isn't it possible it was just a small scorpion with a really huge claw?
posted by delmoi at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2007 [6 favorites]


Oh, man, and I just finished reading the James Tiptree Jr. short story with the giant spawning ocean-dwelling bug beasts.

("On The Last Afternoon")
posted by redsparkler at 9:37 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


They are only extinct until one eats someone. Or someone eats one.

The giant squid was extinct, too.
posted by Balisong at 9:38 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


At last, science is confronted with clear and irrefutable evidence of the existence of demons. Evidently, this particular demon attempted to tunnel his way out of Hell, but was destroyed as he approached the divine radiance that illuminates Earth.

Now that we've dispensed with this evolution bullshit, our course of action is clear: we must follow the tunnels created by this demon straight to Satan's hideout, and nuke him!
posted by Krrrlson at 9:42 AM on November 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fossile indicates dead. That's what I tell myslf to make it go away.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:42 AM on November 21, 2007


I can't find it now, but one of the Walking With Dinosaurs-brand shows was about the top N terrifying, prehistoric sea creatures. Giant sea scorpions might have been on there, but it certainly wasn't number 1. Awesome, amazing show.
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on November 21, 2007


No "awesome" tag?
posted by jokeefe at 9:49 AM on November 21, 2007


Mmmm... Thanksgiving Lobster.
posted by not_on_display at 9:52 AM on November 21, 2007


Heard this story on the radio this morning and all I could think was "eeek!"

Now that I've seen pictures...well...EEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on November 21, 2007


AUUUUUGH!
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:03 AM on November 21, 2007


Fucking awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 10:13 AM on November 21, 2007


Isn't it possible it was just a small scorpion with a really huge claw?

I wondered that too. Also, the illustration of what they think it looked like doesn't include a stinger. If it's a sea scorpion, shouldn't it look like this?
posted by amyms at 10:19 AM on November 21, 2007


Also, the illustration of what they think it looked like doesn't include a stinger.

Which do you think is more likely to attract grant money and media attention: "giant sea scorpion" or "oversized shrimp?"
posted by Krrrlson at 10:25 AM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sea scorpion fossil belonged to biggest bug ever: scientists

Scientists are such a huge bug.
posted by ORthey at 10:28 AM on November 21, 2007


Are they sure it's not just another potato bug?
posted by nax at 10:33 AM on November 21, 2007


Isn't it possible it was just a small scorpion with a really huge claw?

Or a gigantic house-sized scorpion with a miniature claw?
posted by rooftop secrets at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2007 [4 favorites]


an international team of geologists and archaeologists reported Tuesday.

Why the fuck are archaeologists reporting about this? Do the paleontologists need the archaeologists for the comparison to the size of humans in that figure? Did this giant eurypterid make clay pots? Oh wait, maybe the author of the article about this scientific discovery is just confusing two completely unrelated fields. Grrrr.
posted by DanielDManiel at 12:05 PM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


You are all wrong.

That is one of Dr. Zoidberg's claws, carried deep into the past by none other than Richard Nixon's Head.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:06 PM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I feel compelled to include this link, and say that before today, all the biggest eurypterid fossils had been found in upstate New York.
posted by newdaddy at 12:10 PM on November 21, 2007


"We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies, but we never realized, until now, just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were.."

That does it. Science be damned, I'm becoming a Creationist.

*runs under bed*
posted by Salmonberry at 12:14 PM on November 21, 2007


When I finally take my rightful place as king of the sea, I am totally going to ride one of these to my coronation.

Because nothing shows how bad-assed you are like riding a giant scorpion.
posted by quin at 12:15 PM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, that's it. No more swimming in the prehistoric seas for me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:26 PM on November 21, 2007


Scientists discover fossilized claw of enormous ancient sea scorpion. They estimate this thing was 2.5 meters long.

All right! I'm gonna steal this thing, drive to St. Louis and put it on William S. Burroughs's grave. Who's with me?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:31 PM on November 21, 2007


Also, the illustration of what they think it looked like doesn't include a stinger. If it's a sea scorpion, shouldn't it look like this?

The illustration used is based on a illustration of Pterygotus (the formerly biggest, upstate New York ones) which I suppose they think it is related to. These all had flattened paddle like telsons as opposed to the more stinger lookin' ones of other eurypterids. At least they had huge-ass claws unlike many of the ones with "stingers".
posted by DanielDManiel at 12:35 PM on November 21, 2007


Bill Nye told me to my face that this sort of thing was completely impossible.

Something about insect lungs and... something something something. To be honest my eyes glazed over during that part.

After all living your whole life planning on enslaving humanity with an army of Volkswagen sized spiders and then having some smartypants tell you it's impossible tends to reduce your focus.

Anyway. Bill Nye is a big frigg'n liar.

Oh. And you have been warned, humanity. Surrender now.
posted by tkchrist at 12:39 PM on November 21, 2007


Because nothing shows how bad-assed you are like riding a giant scorpion.

O RLY
posted by eddydamascene at 12:46 PM on November 21, 2007


"international team of geologists and archaeologists", my ass. If they talked to their biologist colleagues, they'd know that these things are not extinct, but burrow into the sand just beyond the last line of breaking waves at all Aussie surf beaches, and catch & eat sharks as the sharks make their way to feed on the surfers. "Our giant prawn mates" is what we call them. Occasionally, a spearfisher will kill one and barbecue it, but that's looked down upon. It's very rare that a local of the beach would do such a thing, usually only out-of-towners or tourists.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:49 PM on November 21, 2007


Because nothing shows how bad-assed you are like riding a giant scorpion.

O RLY
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:52 PM on November 21, 2007


Pass the butter.
posted by davebush at 1:30 PM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


They aren't extinct, just waiting. And plotting.
posted by thatswherebatslive at 1:30 PM on November 21, 2007


The illustration used is based on a illustration of Pterygotus (the formerly biggest, upstate New York ones) which I suppose they think it is related to. These all had flattened paddle like telsons as opposed to the more stinger lookin' ones of other eurypterids. At least they had huge-ass claws unlike many of the ones with "stingers".

Thanks for that, DanielDManiel. I really was curious about the differences.
posted by amyms at 1:32 PM on November 21, 2007


They probably had excellent professional wrestling submission holds.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:33 PM on November 21, 2007


If they talked to their biologist colleagues, they'd know that these things are not extinct, but burrow into the sand just beyond the last line of breaking waves at all Aussie surf beaches, and catch & eat sharks as the sharks make their way to feed on the surfers. "Our giant prawn mates" is what we call them. Occasionally, a spearfisher will kill one and barbecue it, but that's looked down upon.

Really!? Do you mean this?
posted by flotson at 1:37 PM on November 21, 2007


yeah, that's one of them. they migrate inland once a year to mate & lay eggs. as you can see, this one is a proper big oldfella, maybe 100-150 years old, and doesn't care much that there's a shopping mall in its way.

when the eggs hatch, they make their way back to the ocean in a colourful, and tasty, migration. here's what a hatchling looks like.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:04 PM on November 21, 2007


Me and my buddy, Mr. Butter sez: "Now that's good eatin!"
posted by doctorschlock at 3:01 PM on November 21, 2007


If they're extinct, what's this unspeakably ancient-looking thing here? Seriously, can anybody identify it as a living creature, or is it some sort of Limulus photoshopus? (In case photobucket hits its limit, here's another copy.)

Also, if you happen to know what it is, is this an adult or a baby?
posted by jfuller at 3:26 PM on November 21, 2007


If they're extinct, what's this unspeakably ancient-looking thing here?

Ha! A model of one made for a TV show called "Walking With Sea Monsters" apparently.
posted by DanielDManiel at 3:57 PM on November 21, 2007


Thanks, DanD. Serious curiosity itch scratched (though I'm a little disappointed. I'm still sure there are live trilobites out there somewhere.)

> Walking With Sea Monsters

Heh. In Florida they always tell you not to go wading without shoes.
posted by jfuller at 4:05 PM on November 21, 2007


I'm still sure there are live trilobites out there somewhere.

Oh how I wish and wish.

Here is the very nice sea scorpion model in action.
posted by DanielDManiel at 4:17 PM on November 21, 2007


Pass the butter.

Damn it! you stole my joke! I wonder how they would taste...I bet they were delicious. Something obviously thought so.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:29 PM on November 21, 2007


That's not a claw.

(brings out enormous claw from behind back)

Now THAT'S a claw.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:38 PM on November 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


SWEET!

The real question though is...who would win in a fight? Ancient giant sea scorpion or contemporary giant squid?

(or a surprise win by a huge pack of swimming 5-year-olds?)
posted by mayfly wake at 4:40 PM on November 21, 2007


The lobstrosities from the Dark Tower were real!
posted by SassHat at 5:43 PM on November 21, 2007


Because nothing shows how bad-assed you are like riding a giant scorpion.

O RLY
posted by the_bone at 7:41 PM on November 21, 2007


O RLY3

*scrambles to find a cool picture of someone riding a scorpion to prove point*

*fails*

...

*thinks*

See, it's so bad ass that people are afraid to even consider it. They don't want to even visualize it because they know that the moment they did, they would have seen the coolest, most hard-core thing ever.

Yeah. That's it.

Totally.
posted by quin at 8:03 PM on November 21, 2007


Hear you go, quin. I think it looks a bit foofy though.
posted by Sparx at 3:58 AM on November 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


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