GIANT sea scorpions much larger than humans once roamed and hunted in the ancient oceans.
The creepy creatures have been documented in a new study that is attempting to compile the irregular scientific documentation of Australian sea scorpions.
The great creatures date back to a period called the Paleozoic Era.
This was around 541 million and 252 million years ago, before dinosaurs conquered the planet.
It was a time when arthropods, such as insects, crustaceans and scorpions, could reach extreme dimensions.
Paleozoic arthropods were some of the largest animals on Earth at the time and would have been found in many oceans around the world.
We know that the sea scorpions looked like the scorpions we have today due to fossilized remains.
However, they are more like the cousins of the modern scorpions that we know.
They are some of the largest marine predators ever observed in the fossil record.
This included the species Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, which was up to eight feet long.
Experts compare them to today’s great white sharks in terms of how tall they would have been in the food chain.
Fossil remains suggest that they could have captured prey in their huge claws and shattered with tooth-like structures on their legs.
They were also thought to be fast swimmers.
Scientists think they ate fish and small arthropods, but they didn’t rule out that giant scorpions would feast on a human being if one had been at the time.
Ancient Australian marine scorpions were first documented in 1899, but there are still many that we don’t know about.
The new study included marine scorpion fossils that had not previously been noticed.
It provides evidence of six different groups of creatures that could have existed in Australia.
Future research hopes to find more complete specimens and better document ancient species.
This study was published in Gondwana Research.
A chronology of life on Earth
The history of the planet over the years …
- 4.6 billion years ago – the origin of the Earth
- 3.8 billion years ago – the first life appears on Earth
- 2.1 billion years ago – multi-cell life forms evolve
- 1.5 billion years ago – eukaryotes emerge, which are cells that contain a nucleus within their membranes
- 550 million years ago – the first arthropods evolve
- 530 million years ago – the first fish appear
- 470 million years ago – the first land plants appear
- 380 million years ago – forests emerge on Earth
- 370 million years ago – the first amphibians emerge from the water on earth
- 320 million years ago – the first reptiles evolve
- 230 million years ago – dinosaurs evolve
- 200 million years ago – mammals appear
- 150 million years ago – the first birds evolve
- 130 million years ago – first flowering plants
- 100 million years ago – the first bees
- 55 million years ago – hares and rabbits appear
- 30 million years ago – the first cats evolve
- 20 million years ago – great apes evolve
- 7 million years ago – the first human ancestors appear
- 2 million years ago – Homo erectus appears
- 300,000 years ago – Homo sapiens evolves
- 50,000 years ago – Eurasia and Oceania colonized
- 40,000 years ago – Neandethal extinction
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What do you think of this discovery of the scorpion? Let us know in the comments …
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