(ConservativeHub.com) – When most people think about scorpions, they probably imagine the finger-sized venomous pests that inhabit woodlands and desert regions. Sure, they’re poisonous but easily avoidable. However, consider the same creature living under the sea and reaching the size of a medium-sized dog! That’s precisely what a group of scientists from China’s Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology recently discovered.
The November 30 edition of the esteemed Science Bulletin details the amazing discovery of the fossilized remains of one of those ferocious creatures.
Named Terropterus xiushanensis, these arachnids grew to a whopping 39 inches, about 16 times the size of modern scorpions. Related to present-day whip spiders and horseshoe crabs, they resembled scorpions and roamed the ancient waters of south China at least 400 million years ago.
Ancient dog-size sea scorpion unearthed in China https://t.co/VxSmhSKgWB
— Live Science (@LiveScience) October 18, 2021
Scientists classified the ancient scorpions as apex underwater predators, which ranked at the top of the food chain without any natural enemies. Other examples include sharks and killer whales.
Scientists have theorized they used their tails to incapacitate their victims, mainly mollusks and fish. Then, they used their huge spiny arms to collect their prey before feeding on them. According to researchers, the most recent fossil find was the first to be found from the Gondwana supercontinent, which formed when Pangaea became two landmasses.
Now, imagine yourself coming face to face with such a monster!
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