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One big bug.

There's no way you could have squashed this giant bug--a 390-million-year-old sea scorpion. Scientists recently discovered one of the creatures' fossilized claws in Germany. Judging from the huge size of the preserved pincher, they estimate the scorpion would have measured 2.5 meters (8 feet) long, making it the biggest bug that ever lived!

This ancient creepy-crawly was very different from today's land-dwelling scorpions. With short legs and a broad tail fin instead of a stinger, it likely lived only underwater, says O. Erik Tetlie, a geologist at Yale University in Connecticut. The scorpion's fearsome claw probably made it a top ocean predator. But once large fish like sharks evolved, they may have hunted the sea scorpions to extinction.



This graph shows how a recently discovered sea scorpion's height compared with that of a human. How much taller was the scorpion than you?
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Title Annotation:GRAPH IT/FOSSILS
Author:Moser, Jennifer
Publication:Science World
Date:Feb 4, 2008
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