Meet Pentecopterus, a new predator from the prehistoric seas

Meet Pentecopterus, a new predator from the prehistoric seas
Artist's rendering of Pentecopterus. Credit: Patrick Lynch/Yale University

You don't name a sea creature after an ancient Greek warship unless it's built like a predator.

That's certainly true of the recently discovered Pentecopterus, a giant sea scorpion with the sleek features of a penteconter, one of the first Greek galley ships. A Yale University research team says Pentecopterus lived 467 million years ago and could grow to nearly six feet, with a long head shield, a narrow body, and large, grasping limbs for trapping prey. It is the oldest described eurypterid—a group of aquatic arthropods that are ancestors of modern spiders, lobsters, and ticks.

A detailed description of the animal appears in the Sept. 1 online edition of the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

"This shows that eurypterids evolved some 10 million years earlier than we thought, and the relationship of the new animal to other eurypterids shows that they must have been very diverse during this early time of their evolution, even though they are very rare in the fossil record," said James Lamsdell, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University and lead author of the study.

"Pentecopterus is large and predatory, and eurypterids must have been important predators in these early Palaeozoic ecosystems," Lamsdell said.

Geologists with the Iowa Geological Survey at the University of Iowa discovered the fossil bed in a by the Upper Iowa River in northeastern Iowa. Fossils were then unearthed and collected by temporarily damming the river in 2010. Researchers from Yale and the University of Iowa have led the analysis.

Giant 'sea scorpion' fossil discovered
Pentecopterus hairs. Scale bar 1 mm. Credit: James Lamsdell

The fossil-rich site yielded both adult and juvenile Pentecopterus specimens, giving the researchers a wealth of data about the animal's development. In addition, the researchers said, the specimens were exceptionally well preserved.

"The Winneshiek site is an extraordinary discovery," said Yale paleontologist Derek Briggs, co-author of the study. "The fossils are preserved in fine deposits of sediments where the sea flooded a meteorite impact crater just over 5 km in diameter." Briggs is the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale and curator of invertebrate paleontology at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Giant 'sea scorpion' fossil discovered
A Pentecopterus leg. Scale bar 1 cm. Credit: James Lamsdell
"What's amazing is the Winneshiek fauna comprise many new taxa, including Pentecopterus, which lived in a shallow marine environment, likely in brakish water with low salinity that was inhospitable to typical marine taxa," said Huaibao Liu of the Iowa Geological Survey and the University of Iowa, who led the fossil dig and is a co-author of the paper. "The undisturbed, oxygen-poor bottom waters within the meteorite crater led to the fossils' remarkable preservation. So this discovery opens a new picture of the Ordovician community that is significantly different from normal marine faunas."

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More information: The oldest described eurypterid: a giant Middle Ordovician (Darriwilian) megalograptid from the Winneshiek Lagerstätte of Iowa, James C. Lamsdell, Derek E. G. Briggs, Huaibao P. Liu, Brian J. Witzke and Robert M. McKay, BMC Evolutionary Biology 2015. doi 10.1186/s12862-015-0443-9 . dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12862-015-0443-9
Journal information: BMC Evolutionary Biology

Provided by Yale University
Citation: Meet Pentecopterus, a new predator from the prehistoric seas (2015, August 31) retrieved 19 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-pentecopterus-predator-prehistoric-seas.html
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Aug 31, 2015
They address that specific point in the article verkle.
How do you talk about a fossil without telling what time period it came from or what it looks like?
Can you say it looks like a lobster, but not say it looks like other sea scorpions simply because it implies they are related in some capacity? Why would any scientist trying to gather data make no attempt to measure it's age? Why would any one employ the kind of "scientist" you are describing?

Aug 31, 2015
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense
"Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don't hold up"
http://www.scient...tionist/

@verkle

Read the article and use your vast knowledge of science to refute the mentioned 15 answers.
Oh, that's right, you can't because all you have is a book of myths.

Aug 31, 2015
I read the article you refer to vietvet. It's underlying assumptions are dubious. Time and therefore history is an illusion. There is no cause and effect. There is just the pure present moment. That is all. If anything is causing the present then it is the immediate future. The present Must be the way it is in order for the future to happen.
So in a sense the creationists are correct. Reality is an act of creation, but I doubt many creationists would be happy with their creation.
These observations are supported by Quantum Physics, especially the Quantum Erasure Experiment which shows that history is adjusted to support the observed reality.
To deny the erasure experiment results is to deny the scientific method.

Aug 31, 2015
They address that specific point in the article verkle.
How do you talk about a fossil without telling what time period it came from or what it looks like?
Can you say it looks like a lobster, but not say it looks like other sea scorpions simply because it implies they are related in some capacity? Why would any scientist trying to gather data make no attempt to measure it's age? Why would any one employ the kind of "scientist" you are describing?


I definitely recognize a lot of words, though see no central, congruent point here. What are you *actually* saying? For it is clearly nothing in contradiction to verkle's statement.

Aug 31, 2015
The day the dichotomy of Science and Philosophy began was the day Science turned in to Religion. I hope you shills are happy.

Sep 01, 2015
"Prehistoric" in the title is way too vague. Why not title this article "Meet Pentecopterus, a new predator from the paleozoic seas"?

Sep 01, 2015
@Moltvic: "you shills".

No one here is paid, except possibly the creationist troll that tries to be "first" on every new observed fact that he thinks is biology (often it is not) as some have speculated. Most are interested in the actual world and what makes it tick, and disinterested in religious magic and what makes creationists tick.

Which is by the way why most here recognize that when the Enlightenment occurred - when "the dichotomy of Science and Philosophy began" by instituting science with its tests - was the day religion disappeared as a potentially strong social force. Science rules (or you wouldn't be commenting on the internet)!

Sep 01, 2015
[ctd]

Since the creationist trolls blatantly lie, the evolutionary linkage is proven as discussed in the article (the euryptids emerged and disappeared - change in populations - evolution as observed), and you blatantly and ineffectually defame, there isn't much remaining to bait-and-switch with, as you try to.

Point to something in the article that isn't the central, congruent point of evolution: an older clade than before, a new lagerstätte with new populations, the new populations evolved to live closer to the land than earlier Cambrian deep sea populations, et cetera et cetera. It is the creationist's task to explain all that and more than evolution if they criticize it, yet they can't.

Sep 01, 2015
@Moltvic: "you shills".

No one here is paid, except possibly the creationist troll that tries to be "first" on every new observed fact that he thinks is biology (often it is not) as some have speculated. Most are interested in the actual world and what makes it tick, and disinterested in religious magic and what makes creationists tick.

Which is by the way why most here recognize that when the Enlightenment occurred - when "the dichotomy of Science and Philosophy began" by instituting science with its tests - was the day religion disappeared as a potentially strong social force. Science rules (or you wouldn't be commenting on the internet)!


Thanks for your feedback.

I love science, as my undergraduate was in Biology/Chemistry. Though I did recently recognize I had become something of a hypocrite in following everything in the scientific community on blind faith (rarely actually double-checking the data many premises were built upon).

Sep 05, 2015
I read the article you refer to vietvet. It's underlying assumptions are dubious. Time and therefore history is an illusion. There is no cause and effect. There is just the pure present moment. That is all. If anything is causing the present then it is the immediate future. The present Must be the way it is in order for the future to happen.
So in a sense the creationists are correct. Reality is an act of creation, but I doubt many creationists would be happy with their creation.
These observations are supported by Quantum Physics, especially the Quantum Erasure Experiment which shows that history is adjusted to support the observed reality.
To deny the erasure experiment results is to deny the scientific method.


That has to be some kind of 'bot. No one can write that incoherently. It's obviously software generated.

Sep 05, 2015
Creationists are such fucking hypocrites. They dream up some alternative theory whereby atomic nuclei don't behave as we know they do to shore up some brain damaged fairy story. But when they need a treatment involving nuclear medicine they totally rely on that set and settled science, the very science they deny. At least the Amish don't use the tech they don't believe in.

This is no longer a site with trolls, it's troll oriented. This is an interesting fossil and a GODDAMNED troll posts spam that has nothing to do with the article and that is the only thing discussed. I'm no longer commenting. It's a crime to suborn that behavior. I have more important things to do than argue with an ignorant spam bot. There's no decent discussion of content on here anymore.


Sep 05, 2015
Hear, hear!

Sep 05, 2015
Creationist Science:

We all divide into large groups. Each group invents an Invisible Companion, an Imaginary Being. We then endow that being with ridiculous powers, and create entire stories and legends around it.

Then, we can get back together and kill each other over whose Imaginary Being is the "real" one.

Sep 05, 2015
Lots of xtians deny the evidence just to embrace a self-defeating literal interpretation of the Bible. No Muslim does that. Well, not in the last 500 years
@jim_xanara
????
ALL fundamentalists do this: how can you say the above while ISIS and various fundamental Islamic groups argue a literal translation of the Koran?

it is not just xtians, it is religion!
any time you have a dogma or tenets that specifically require the suspension of reality in leiu of rules (that actually create prejudice by their existence), then you will have friction and removal of logical thought

that is not to denigrate a faith, mind you, because there is a difference between a faith and a religion

Sep 05, 2015
Seems with every "find" that authors try to relate to evolution the date of the species gets reset earlier and earlier... how about for a change talking about fossils
Ok. What verkle and similar religion junkies fail to realize is that if all these species were alive in viable breeding populations at the same time, the world would be feet deep in writhing animal flesh.

And what would all the ruminants be eating then? Manna?

Sep 05, 2015
"Seems with every "find" that authors try to relate to evolution the date of the species gets reset earlier and earlier... how about for a change talking about fossils"
_----------------------------------------------

Well, yes. That's how science works. New information fills in gaps and gives us a better picture, and we re-constitute a new view.

We do not have the avalanche of hubris necessary to assume we have Absolute Truth, let alone one which came from the Age of Ignorance.

Sep 05, 2015
creationist science

We all divide into large groups blah... avalanche of hubris
"Those of us who have had experiences with psychopaths know that the language of the psychopath is two-dimensional. They are, as someone once said, as "deep as a thimble."

-Since they sincerely believe that anything they say is profound they tend to say lots of inane things, t shirt slogans, heil hitler, WMDs!

Sep 05, 2015

gkam invents an Invisible Companion, an Imaginary Being. He then endows that being with ridiculous powers, and create entire stories and legends around it.

And then he comes to Phys.org..

Ok. What verkle and similar religion junkies fail to realize is that if all these species were alive in viable breeding populations at the same time, the world would be feet deep in writhing animal flesh.
- Otto

That's damn funny, Otto.

Sep 05, 2015
"Those of us who have had experiences with psychopaths know that the language of the psychopath is two-dimensional. They are, as someone once said, as "deep as a thimble."
______________________________________

Wow.

That is most impressive when you demonstrate fixations, otto, not just warn us about them. Good luck with yours.

I just hope some others were right about you being too gutless for physical violence.

Sep 06, 2015
"Prehistoric" in the title is way too vague. Why not title this article "Meet Pentecopterus, a new predator from the paleozoic seas"?
Yes, that galls me too. Virtually every animal alive today, including humans, are "prehistoric". They might as well say "older than one second ago", which has the same meaning in this context.
.
.

Sep 06, 2015
"Prehistoric" in the title is way too vague. Why not title this article "Meet Pentecopterus, a new predator from the paleozoic seas"?
Yes, that galls me too. Virtually every animal alive today, including humans, are "prehistoric". They might as well say "older than one second ago", which has the same meaning in this context.
.
.
@Photon
interesting thought - with the exception of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, who has a "historic" record (albeit not until "recently" in geological time)
that makes us, technically, historical, right?

our ancestors pre- writing and annotation of historical data are definitely prehistoric though...
not really sure that being in the past (as in your "older than one second ago" comment) constitutes prehistoric really...
IMHO, prehistoric would be pre- written historical record

Sep 06, 2015
We all divide into large groups. Each group invents an Invisible Companion, an Imaginary Being. We then endow that being with ridiculous powers, and create entire stories and legends around it.

Already done. May I refer you to Marvel and DC Comics?

I think their written works probably have about the same degree of veracity as any religious tract and are a damn sight more readable and entertaining. And a lot more artistically worthy.

Sep 07, 2015
"Psychopaths are notorious for not answering the questions asked them. They will answer something else, or in such a way that the direct question is never addressed. They also phrase things so that some parts of their narratives are difficult to understand. This is not careless speech, of which everyone is guilty at times, but an ongoing indication of the underlying condition in which the organization of mental activity suggests something is wrong. It's not what they say, but how they say it that gives insight into their true nature."

-You know I have to ask this again. Since you're so eager to talk about it, what is it exactly that you are being treated for down at the VA mental ward?

What is it that you did that made to you seek help or that compelled others to demand you seek help?

And why would you think that that group of doctors would be reading my every post? Why wouldn't you think they'd have better things to do than entertain your psychopathic delusions?

Sep 07, 2015
"And why would you think that that group of doctors would be reading my every post?"
-------------------------------------

I think they're looking in your windows, too.

And every time I read your silly stuff like "Got that!?", or "Are we clear on that?", I hear the voice of Barney Fyfe.

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