World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Megalograptus

Article Id: WHEBN0002918674
Reproduction Date:

Title: Megalograptus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ordovician animals, Eurypterida
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Megalograptus

Megalograptus
Temporal range: Ordovician
Є
O
S
D
C
P
T
J
K
Pg
N
3-5 M. welchi fossil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Merostomata
Order: Eurypterida
Superfamily: Megalograptoidea
Family: Megalograptidae
Genus: Megalograptus
Miller, 1874
Species
  • Megalograptus alveolatus
    (Shuler, 1915)
  • Megalograptus ohioensis
    Caster & Kjellesvig-Waering, 1955
  • Megalograptus shideleri
    Caster & Kjellesvig-Waering, 1964
  • Megalograptus welchi
    Miller, 1874
  • Megalograptus williamsae
    Caster & Kjellesvig-Waering, 1964

Megalograptus (Greek for "big writing") is a 4-foot-long (1.2 m) Ordovician eurypterid (sea scorpion), and was among the earliest known genera (and was a member of the family Megalograptidae). The generic name is derived from the fact that its first fossils were of its very spiny legs, which were mistaken for massive graptolites. It lived from 460 to 445 mya. Megalograptus preyed on fish, trilobites, other sea scorpions, and smaller orthocones, using the spines on their claws to feel for their prey hiding in the sand and mud. Adult Cameroceras, along with the bigger sea scorpion species, preyed on it. Megalograptus did not have a stinger, but may have curled its tail and sword-like telson forward as a threat pose, much like a scorpion.

Contents

  • Description 1
  • Popular culture 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Description

Life restoration

Megalograptids were characterized by large exoskeletons with ovate to triangular scales. The prosoma (head) was subquadrate, with a tongue-like anterior process bearing marginal spines, and compound eyes on the top front of the head. The chelicerae (claws in front of the mouth) were small and short. The first and third pairs of walking legs were short, with diverging or closely spaced spines. The second pair of walking legs was enormously developed, with long paired spines. The fourth pair of walking legs was nearly spineless. The preabdomen, the front portion of the body, was narrow with axial furrows, while the postabdomen was moderately narrow with broad, flat and curved appendages on the last body segment. The telson was short and lanceolate.[1]

Megalograptus is distinguishable from other members of the family by the third walking legs, which are characterized by short diverging spines.[2]

Popular culture

Megalograptus was featured in the Ordovician (the "seventh deadliest sea") episode of the BBC's Sea Monsters: A Walking with Dinosaurs Trilogy series, where they were imagined to have behaved similarly to horseshoe crabs, coming to shore to mate, lay eggs in the surf and sand, and minimize the risk of being attacked during a moult. They also appeared as eurypterids in the first episode of Animal Armageddon, as among the animal survivors of the first mass extinction on Earth.

See also

References

  1. ^ Størmer, L 1955. Merostomata. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part P Arthropoda 2, Chelicerata, P36.
  2. ^ Størmer, L 1955. Merostomata. Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part P Arthropoda 2, Chelicerata, P36.

External links

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/seamonsters/factfiles/seascorpion.shtml BBC, including image
  • http://www.taxonomy.nl/Taxonomicon/TaxonTree.aspx?id=15937
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.