Joined: Dec. 2006
|Quote (Lou FCD @ Nov. 21 2007,08:18)|
|Biology Letters has this paper about a 390my old fossil found a few years ago in Germany.|
|The fossil record has yielded various gigantic arthropods, in contrast to their diminutive proportions today. The recent discovery of a 46cm long claw (chelicera) of the pterygotid eurypterid (‘sea scorpion’) Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, from the Early Devonian Willwerath Lagerstätte of Germany, reveals that this form attained a body length of approximately 2.5m—almost half a metre longer than previous estimates of the group, and the largest arthropod ever to have evolved. Gigantism in Late Palaeozoic arthropods is generally attributed to elevated atmospheric oxygen levels, but while this may be applicable to Carboniferous terrestrial taxa, gigantism among aquatic taxa is much more widespread and may be attributed to other extrinsic factors, including environmental resources, predation and competition. A phylogenetic analysis of the pterygotid clade reveals that Jaekelopterus is sister-taxon to the genus Acutiramus, and is among the most derived members of the pterygotids, in contrast to earlier suggestions.|
| The discovery in 390-million-year-old rocks suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were far larger in the past than previously thought, said Simon Braddy, a University of Bristol paleontologist and one of the study's three authors.|
"This is an amazing discovery," he said Tuesday.
"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," he said.
The research found a type of sea scorpion that was almost half a yard longer than previous estimates and the largest one ever to have evolved.
The study, published online Tuesday in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters, means that before this sea scorpion became extinct it was much longer than today's average man is tall.
Prof. Jeorg W. Schneider, a paleontologist at Freiberg Mining Academy in southeastern Germany, said the study provides valuable new information about "the last of the giant scorpions."
Schneider, who was not involved in the study, said these scorpions "were dominant for millions of years because they didn't have natural enemies. Eventually they were wiped out by large fish with jaws and teeth."
Popcorn and nightmares, anyone?
Hey - I liked that movie!
re: Your post - Just another reason why science kick's bible-believing's ass... reality wins.!11!!!1111!!one
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10
Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08
UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11