Arachnophobia! 8-Foot Fossil Scorpion Is Biggest Bug

Creepy swam sea with other giant crawlies

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2007 8:40 AM CST

(Newser) – Scientists digging in Germany have found the fossilized claw of what is thought to be the largest bug ever to roam the earth—or, in the case of this 400-million-year-old scorpion, to navigate the seas. The eight-foot-long arachnid is an "amazing discovery" that highlights the remarkable sizes of ancient arthropods, reports AP.

Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae lived in Germany and may have grown so large in order to fight and eat its own kind, or its girth may simply have been a result of high oxygen levels at the time. Whatever the reason for the bug's massive size, "You wouldn't want to swat one of those," one scientists concluded.

This is a computer generated image issued by the University of Bristol in England released on Tuesday Nov. 20, 2007 showing a size comparison between a human an ancient sea scorpion. A fossil found in...   (Associated Press)
The Jaekelopterus Rhenania, which lived in Germany 390 million years ago, is a distant ancestor of modern-day scorpions like this one.   ((c) wonker)
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