KAJ R. SVENSSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KAJ R. SVENSSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fossil sea scorpion or eurypterid in a mudstone deposit. Sea scorpions are an extinct group of arthropods which lived from the Ordovician to the Permian periods (500 to 225 million years ago). They lived in salty, brackish, & freshwater seas. They were related to horsehoe crabs, but not to the land scorpions which they happen to resemble. Eurypterids had a flattened pair of legs for swimming, and four to five pairs of walking legs. They captured their prey with sharp, pincer-like appendages (chelicerae). Photograph of a eurypterid found in a deposit from the Devonian period (395-345 million years ago), a time when eurypterids were the dominant arthropods.
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