STL Science Center

STL Science Center

24 March 2015

Early Papers, Recent Papers

At the turn of the 20th century eurypterids were being described and re-described because they were still quite new to science. Descriptions like this Silurian description of a eurypterid by Malcolm Laurie is preserved as an abstract but shows all the makings of a classical description complete with anecdotal evidence. The actual article is not available online, but the abstract appears to be chock full of 19th century scientific goodness. The lack of that article's full text is compensated for by the vast expanse of articles available on the subject. The topics range from Ordovician evidence of book-lungs to paleoecology and moulting of carapaces. Ocean-going animals are more capable than many other taxa, save those traveling through mud, to leave behind trackways as ichnofossils. These have, of course, been studied in some detail when they have been found. How one species of sea scorpion trackway can be differentiated from another is a question for Braddy and Almond who studied the fossils in South Africa. One of the most interesting studies is one that centers on functional morphology. Braddy and Dunlop explore the mating of sea scorpions in the Silurian seas. Mating is always a topic of interest in science and inferences that can be made about mating in eurypterids, as with any ancient taxa, are an awesome topic simply waiting to be uncovered.

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