Think of a two meter long scorpion lumbering across a beach you are holidaying on! It’s neither a Hollywood animation nor a dream. It happened on this very earth. But, fortunately it died out 330 million years ago. The eurypterid water scorpion is the largest arthropod that romped on this earth. Congratulations Martin Whyte. Whyte, the geologist of the University of Sheffield, UK has found a fossilized track in a layer of sandstone in Scotland left by a 1.6-metre-long eurypterid. It is found to have lumbered across a Carboniferous beach in Scotland.
The traces comprise crescent-shaped prints left by the creature’s limbs and a sinuous curve believed to have been gouged out by its tail. It is a unique finding, not just because of the gargantuan size of the arthropod, but for the evidence it offers that this invertebrate species could survive out of water. This discovery has broken the misconception that the early tetrapods, vertebrates with four limbs, were the only advanced creatures believed to have ventured onto land from the sea at that era.