STL Science Center

STL Science Center

20 March 2015

First Deviation

Ernst Haeckel
The first in a line of deviations is going to be an exploration into the strange Ordovician and Permian seas of the "early days" of  multicellular life. Early is a somewhat relative term given the length of time that the earth had existed and the time since that multicellular life has existed in the fossil record and in extant species. At any rate, the group that we will explore this week is not a single taxon. We have done this sort of investigation before. However, this week that investigation will center on a group of invertebrate animals we collectively know as the Eurypterida. This order consists of two recognized suborders with a multitude of families in each. The animals are large "sea scorpion" like animals. Their body shape resembles scorpions despite no close relationship with the extant invertebrates. The accompanying illustration should dispel all confusion about what these animals look like!

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