May 31, 2017 07:45 AM EDT
Sea Scorpions Use Swordlike Tails To Fight; Unusual Fish Caught At St. Brelade’s Bay [VIDEO]
The ancestors of the sea scorpions were actually swashbuckling sea creatures with their sharp tails. They used these tails for fights and for actual swimming as well.
Ancient Sea Scorpion's Sword Tails
Four hundred and thirty million years ago, a different and unique type of sea predator hunted in the ancient seas. These were the eurypterids or mostly known as the sea scorpions. They are actually related to the modern scorpions and the horseshoe crabs, Science News reported.
Some of the other species also had pinching claws and these creatures could even grow up to three meters in length. One of their most prominent and useful features is the serrated, slashing tail spine, which was described in a new study by University of Alberta scientists Scott Persons and John Acorn.
Ancient Sea Scorpion Armed And Dangerous
Persons explained that their study suggested that the sea scorpions would use their tails to kill their prey, which were armed by the serrated spiny tips. The new study came from their discovery of a new fossil specimen of the eurypterid Slimonia acuminata. The fossil was collected from the Patrick Burn Formation near Lesmahagow, Scotland, and it showed a eurypterid Slimonia acuminata with a serrated spine tipped tail curved strongly to one side.
Sword Tails Were Powerful Weapons
The sword tails of the ancient sea scorpion were powerful weapons unlike the lobsters and shrimps, which can flip their broad tails up and down to help them swim. The eurypterids, however, use their tails to swim horizontally and were highly mobile.
The ancient sea scorpion would slash their tails from side to side, which would meet little hydraulic resistance and without propelling their bodies away from a target. They would also clutch on their prey with their sharp front limbs and then use their horizontal slashing motion to kill a target.
Spiky Sea Scorpion Caught By Fisherman
In other related news, a fisherman was surprised to find an unusual type of fish when he lifted a lobster pot. The fisherman described the sea scorpion fish as an unusual-looking fish with a giant head and sharp spines on its fins and gills, which was caught just inside St. Brelade's Bay. It was returned to the sea for ethical reasons, Jersey Evening Post reported.
Check out the Paleo Profile - Sea Scorpions video below:
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