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Still Waters

Extinct sea scorpions could breathe on land

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Still Waters

Scientists have long debated the respiratory workings of sea scorpions, but a new discovery by a West Virginia University geologist concludes that these largely aquatic extinct arthropods breathed air on land.

James Lamsdell dug into the curious case of a 340 million-year-old sea scorpion, or eurypterid, originally from France that had been preserved at a Glasgow, Scotland museum for the last 30 years.

An assistant professor of geology in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Lamsdell had read about the "strange specimen" 25 years ago while conducting his doctoral studies. Existing research suggested it would occasionally go on land.

Yet nothing was known on whether it could breathe air. The closest living relative to the eurypterid is the horseshoe crab, which lays eggs on land but is unable to breathe above water.

https://phys.org/news/2020-09-air-extinct-sea-scorpions-fossil.html

Quote

Air Breathing in an Exceptionally Preserved 340-Million-Year-Old Sea Scorpion

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(20)31188-X?

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