STL Science Center

STL Science Center

22 March 2015

Walking the Ocean Floor

More than likely we have the Walking With... series to thank for the popularity of a lot of non-dinosaur fossil taxa. This is mostly evident in the fact that the vast majority of fact pages, and there are a great many for eurypterids, that are out there refer to the Eurypterida as "sea scorpions". I mentioned on Friday that the term sea scorpion is a misnomer as these large predators were discussed as being distantly related to scorpions at best. The University of California Museum of Paleontology, however, notes that they are very closely related to arachnids (spiders as well as scorpions). The UCMP has a treasure trove of information on the eurypterids and makes a great source. Some other quality sources include a nice gallery of actual fossils on the Fossil Guy's website and BBC Nature's short blurb and two clip page that celebrates the use of the animals in their fossil taxa documentaries and fake nature shows (Nigel Marvin's shows are far more accurate than some other mockumentaries we can mention). There are so many varieties of eurypterids that covering all of them may not be plausible, but we also may not have a choice. Taxa like eurypterids are often, unfortunately, lumped together as an order or family and attempting to tease out genera and species is difficult and sometimes simply impossible. It does tend to give us a large number of images that can be used for entertainment (read: coloring!) such as this one:
Drepanopterus sp.

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