Sea scorpions slashed victims with swordlike tails


sea scorpion illustration
EN GARDE! Ancient sea scorpions (one illustrated) may have used serrated, swordlike tails for swimming or as weaponry.

Ancient sea scorpions were hacks.

Some of the marine creatures had a thin, serrated spine on the tip of their tail — and that tail was surprisingly flexible, based on a 430-million-year-old fossil found in Scotland. Slimonia acuminata may have had the range of motion to strike large predators and prey, researchers report online April 18 in American Naturalist.

Scientists had thought that the ancient animals largely used their tails for swimming, primarily flapping them up and down like today’s lobsters and shrimp do…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

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Sasha Harriet

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