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November 21, 2007

Fossil sea-scorpions bigger than humans

giant shrimp, originally uploaded by erin_designr.


I think somebody should come up with a way to breed a very large shrimp. That way, you could ride him, then after you camped at night, you could eat him. How about it, science?--Jack Handey

Scientists have recovered the fossilized claw of an 8-foot sea scorpion from a quarry in Germany.

They call it "an amazing discovery," I call it "proof of concept." I know, shrimp and scorpions aren't that closely related. The point is that giant arthropods ruled the earth. With sufficient ingenuity, perhaps one day giant shrimp will rule our grocers' freezer sections.

Imagine tucking into a succulent scampi roast, instead of a Thanksgiving turkey. Picture a shrimp so big you could impale it on a rotating metal skewer and shave off slices of shrimp schwarma?

How 'bout it, science?


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Shrimp legs are proof of evolution.

Imagine how big the giant shrimp's eggs would be. The omelette made from giant shrimp eggs might be pretty tasty!

Or, rather, giant caviar!

mmmmmmmm.... schwarma.....

The Navy would train them to look for underwater Al Qaedas... or something. Forrest Gump would shit. He'd never be able to build a Jenny big enough to scoop up scrimps of that magnitude.

Holy crap, eight-foot sea scorpions? I think that may well knock "Vampire Shuttle Diplomacy" from the top spot in my nightmare list.

That's not a giant shrimp. This is a giant shrimp.

Not technically a scorpion -they hadn’t evolved yet- but a Eurypterid; called “sea scorpions” because they kind of resembled scorpions. They were the largest beasts in the Silurian oceans, and resemble in certain aspects, and may be related to, horseshoe crabs. They came in a variety of sizes. This one is the largest yet, but the largest known heretofore would have weighed five or six times as much as the largest extant lobster. They were common enough that one of them, Eurypterus remipes, is the official New York state fossil.

If only I had a time machine, a very big lobster pot, and a barrel of cocktail sauce.

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