Huge Crustacean From 400 Million B.C.

In Songs of Distant Earth, Arthur C. Clarke wrote about strange creatures that lived on Earth eons ago:

Recently, the first one was captured; it's a kind of huge crustacean, like the sea scorpions that once lived on Earth.

We're not sure if they're intelligent, and that may even be a meaningless question. But certainly they are highly organized social animals, with primitive technologies - though perhaps that's too strong a word. As far as we've discovered, they don't show any greater ability than bees or ants or termites...

Most important of all, they've discovered metal...

Science fiction fans are delighted by the recent discovery of an enormous fossilized claw, part of an ancient sea scorpion. If the rest of its body was proportional, it was the largest bug that ever lived.


(Giant sea scorpion claw 46 cm. long)

Simon Braddy, a University of Bristol paleontologist, was one of three authors of a paper announcing the discovery. He said that the fossil was from a Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae, a kind of scorpion that lived only in Germany for about 10 million years, about 400 million years ago.

The entire organism was about eight feet long; according to scientists, sea scorpions did not grow claws that were substantially larger on one side or the other, unlike other crustaceans.


(Giant sea scorpion bigger than a man)

He stated that the sea scorpions were not only in competition with fish that were heavily armored, the scorpions were also cannibalistic.

"The competition between this scorpion and its prey was probably like a nuclear standoff, an effort to have the biggest weapon," he said. "Hundreds of millions of years ago, these sea scorpions had the upper hand over vertebrates -- backboned animals like ourselves."

Read more at Nature and LiveScience. Thanks to Eric Nodacker for the tip and the sf reference.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/21/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.' - Hal Clement, 1950.

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.

Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'

Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'

Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.