Bizarre Giant Sea Scorpion Discovered In Iowa

An ancient, giant sea scorpion measuring almost 6 feet long (2 meters) that lived 467 million years ago has been discovered by research scientists at Yale University. The newly-found scorpion fossil was named Pentecopterus decorahensis, and has many unique characteristics that have not been seen before.

Originally reported by the BBC, this great article on the Mirror reports some excellent details:

A monstrous sea scorpion measuring six-feet-long that lived 467 million years ago has been discovered.

The creature was one of the most powerful ocean predators of its time, with a ‘helmet’ shielding its head and large grasping limbs for trapping prey.

Scientists have named the beast Pentecopterus decorahensis, after the “penteconter”- an ancient Greek ship rowed by 50 oarsmen that saw service in the Trojan War.

Although they look like relatives of lobsters or crabs, sea scorpions, or “eurypterids”, were in fact the ancestors of modern spiders.

Lead researcher Dr James Lamsdell, from Yale University in the US, said: “The new species is incredibly bizarre. The shape of the paddle – the leg which it would use to swim – is unique, as is the shape of the head. It’s also big – over a meter-and-a-half long!

Check the next page for a full artist’s rendering of what this “monster” looked like…