Giant, human-sized scorpion discovered
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
December 1, 2005
Tracks made 330 million years ago by a 1.6 meter-long (5 ft 3 inches) water scorpion have been discovered in Scotland.
In a report in the journal Nature, University of Sheffield geologist Martin Whyte who found the tracks, said “To my knowledge, this is … the largest terrestrial trackway of a walking arthropod to be found so far.”
Whyte said the now extinct giant scorpion had at least six legs and probably could have survived out of water.
“The slow, stilted progression, together with the dragging of the posterior, indicates that the animal was buoyant and that it was probably moving out of water,” Whyte added.
Scorpions are arthropods closely related to spiders. The are well known for posessing a venomous neurotoxic sting, used for both feeding and defense. Scorpions show very little structural change over the course of their evolution — scorpion remains found in coal deposits from the Carboniferous Period are virtually identical to existing forms, according to Wikipedia.
Peruvian scientists discovered the fossilized remains of a giant, 46-foot-(14-meter)-long crocodile deep in the Amazon rainforest, lending credence to a theory that the Amazon was once a huge inland sea.