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Fossils

Introduces fossils as evidence of evolution.

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No Way You're Getting Me In The Water!
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No Way You're Getting Me In The Water!

Eurypterid fossils on display in the Denver Museum of Science and Nature. Picture courtesy of Tony Martin.

That's OK. They'll Come To You

When people get into conversations about the biggest and scariest, you'll hear about sharks and spiders, maybe killer whales, giant squid, tigers, even elephants. But you're in an interesting crowd if someone brings up eurypterids, also known as sea scorpions. Not everyone knows about them, but most everyone who does has a healthy respect for them, if not abject fear. Why you may ask? Well, watch this clip.

Now that you've seen the fancy animation. Here's some more info on them.

Head Scratchers

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. How big could Eurypterids grow? How does that compare to other known arthropods? Does this relationship surprise you? Why or why not?
  2. When did Eurypterids go extinct? What other animals went extinct at this time? Are you glad Eurypterids went extinct? Why or why not?
  3. Eurypterids are related to horseshoe crabs which crawl into the high tidal zone to lay their eggs. Do you think the tracks found of eurypterids could be caused by the same behavior? Why or why not? What kinds of evidence would you look for to check your hypothesis? Where would you look for this information?

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