Man-sized Scorpion Tracks

Posted by Chris Parker
Feb 20 2006

GeoTimes
Paleontology

Geologist Martin Whyte of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom was strolling along a rocky beach in Scotland, when he came upon a stretch of sandstone with some odd-looking indentations.

As soon as he saw it, “I knew that [the indentations] had been made by an animal and that it was big,” Whyte says. A quick examination revealed that the trackway (shown in photo at left, traversing the rock formation) had been made by an animal using six legs, and therefore could not have been made by a mammal, amphibian or reptile.

Whyte reported in the Dec. 1 Nature that a man-sized walking water scorpion, or eurypterid, created the 1- by 6-meter trackway some 330 million years ago.

Most eurypterids were about 10 to 20 centimeters in length and lived in the water. This specimen, Hibbertopterus, was about 1 by 1.6 meters.

The trackway represents the first known evidence that the creature “could have come out of the water for at least short intervals,” Whyte says, a subject that has been debated for years. Until now, all the eurypterid trackways had been made in water.

The find “adds a little to our understanding of the environment” of the time, he says, when vertebrates were first beginning to walk on land and reptiles were first evolving.

Image courtesy of Martin Whyte.

Megan Sever

3 Responses

  1. Brad says:

    It is amazing that even though thier (evolutionists) findings are correct. Their conclusions are always wrong. 330 million years ago, what a fairy tale!!

  2. Robert says:

    They are correct with the years and the timeline. It does not matter if you are an evolutionist or scientoligist or even a church goer that just happened upon something as amazing as this. This is possible and there are things in the world that we have probily not found yet that are older than that. Things that are trapped right beneath are feet and will not be discovered because some people think that we are distroying the earth by digging for the truth of the past. Yes, you can probily tell by now that I am not religious at all but I do go by the facts of what has happened and what people have shown me thru facts. A lot of christians that are deep into the faith say that just because we found something that it could not be real because god didnt create it and that humans were the first to be created. I have heard that all too much. I do not wish to bash on people that are christians but I am just saying what they say. I go by scientific evidence that these things do exist and more will be found with time. thank you,
    Robert Staten

  3. dragon girl says:

    i agree with robert. we haven’t found a lot of things in this world, but when we undercover something that seems inpossible we all freak out, except for us people that are smart and know it’s okay because their are a lot of things that are going to seem inpossible when they are right in front of our eyes. all i really have to say about this article is that yes i agree with this story because sea scorpions were real, scientist do know that and i believe that they made those tracks.

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