Giant Cannibal Sea Scorpions

No, seriously.

Paleontologists dug up the fossilized claw of a giant sea scorpion. They reckon the thing may have been 8 feet (!) long. It’s called
Jaekelopterus rhenania, and is apparently 400 million years old.

I came across the article on Boing Boing, and delved into a few of the other articles. A few random, key quotes.

“Braddy said the sea scorpions also were cannibals that fought and ate one other, so it helped to be as big as they could be.

“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.”

CBC had this to say:

“This is an amazing discovery. We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies, but we never realized, until now, just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were,” said co-author Dr. Simon Braddy from the University of Bristol.

Some geologists believe that the giant arthropod evolved due to high oxygen levels, while others argue that they evolved in an “arms race” alongside their prey, the early armoured fish.

It’s awesome that Dr. Braddy calls ‘em “creepy-crawlies.” And armored fish? Sweet. I need to work these things into a short story or game sometime soon. Be like Clash of the Titans (one of the good parts).


If I ever get Rock Band I’m so going with Giant Cannibal Sea Scorpions.

2 Responses to “Giant Cannibal Sea Scorpions”

  1. Dev Says:

    I bet they would taste good fried up in garlic butter. If they still lived you can bet they would be on the Red Lobster menu

  2. Tom KG Says:

    Isn’t red Lobster still running their endless shrimp platter promotion? You could build your own giant cannibal sea scorpion. I wonder if they’d refill your plate if you were just using the shrimp as sculptural medium.

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Posted in Current Events, Nature Attack on November 21, 2007 by Jesse

Jesse Scoble

Jesse Scoble is a writer, story editor, and game designer in no particular order.

He has won awards, written a Western Horror script, worked on computer games & pen&paper games, contributed to more than 30 titles, and makes a mean mojito.

Currently he is a freelance writer in Montreal, QC.