Brontoscorpio

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Brontoscorpio
Temporal range: Lochkovian
416–412.3 Ma
20210123 Brontoscorpio anglicus size estimation.png
Size estimation of Brontoscorpio anglicus, with the only evident region (free finger of right pedipalp) highlighted in dark grey
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Scorpiones
Family: incertae sedis
Genus: Brontoscorpio
Kjellesvig-Waering, 1972
Species:
B. anglicus
Binomial name
Brontoscorpio anglicus
Kjellesvig-Waering, 1972

Brontoscorpio is an extinct genus of scorpion. Remains of the only known species, Brontoscorpio anglicus, were discovered in the St. Maughan's Formation,[1][2] Lochkovian-aged sandstone from Trimpley, Worcestershire.[3] The species was described on the basis of an incomplete single free finger of a right pedipalp (In31405), almost 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long.[3][4] The complete animal is estimated to have been 77 centimetres (30 in) - 94 centimetres (37 in) long.[3] At 94 centimeters Brontoscorpio would be one of the largest known arachnids. The species is characterized by the presence of single condyle and row of thick tubercles on the pedipalp free finger.[3]

Ecology[edit]

The remains were found in terrestrial sediments, showing evidence of Brontoscorpio being terrestrial. Brontoscorpio may have gone ashore to escape predation, but due to its size, it would have had difficulty supporting its weight on land and likely lived a primarily aquatic life.[5]

Popular culture[edit]

Brontoscorpio was featured in the first episode of the 2005 BBC television series Walking with Monsters. It is shown hunting Cephalaspis and being eaten by Pterygotus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fossilworks: Brontoscorpio". fossilworks.org. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  2. ^ Dunlop, J. A., Penney, D. & Jekel, D. 2020. A summary list of fossil spiders and their relatives. In World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern, online at http://wsc.nmbe.ch, version 20.5
  3. ^ a b c d Kjellesvig-Waering, Erik N. (1972). "Brontoscorpio anglicus: a gigantic Lower Paleozoic scorpion from central England". Journal of Paleontology. 46 (1): 39–42. JSTOR 1302906.
  4. ^ Jeram, Andrew J. "Phylogeny, classification and evolution of Silurian and Devonian scorpions". In Selden, Paul A. (ed.). Proceedings of the 17th European Colloquium of Arachnology, Edinburgh 1997, 1998 (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  5. ^ The Biology of scorpions. Polis, Gary A., 1946-. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. 1990. ISBN 0804712492. OCLC 18991506.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)