Story at a glance

  • Scientists at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology published a new study in the November 2021 journal Science Bulletin.
  • The researchers recently discovered the fossil of the dog-size scorpion.
  • Called the terropterus xiushanensis, it was found to be related to today’s horseshoe crab and whip spider and was 16 times larger than the average scorpion.

Scientists at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology published a new study on a recently discovered fossil of an enormous, ancient scorpion that once lived along the seafloor of south China.

(Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology/Chinese Academy of Sciences)


The study, appearing in the November 2021 journal Science Bulletin, examined the fossil of the dog-sized scorpion.

Called the terropterus xiushanensis, it was found to be related to today’s horseshoe crab and whip spider and was 16 times larger than the average scorpion.


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"Our knowledge of these bizarre animals is limited to only four species in two genera described 80 years ago," the study states of the new information to be gleaned from the preserved fossil. 

The terropterus xiushanensis is believed to have lived during the Silurian period, about 443.8 million to 419.2 million years ago, and fed on fish and mollusks.


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Published on Oct 28, 2021