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      Giant claw reveals the largest ever arthropod

      1 , 2 , 3
      Biology Letters
      The Royal Society

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          Abstract

          The fossil record has yielded various gigantic arthropods, in contrast to their diminutive proportions today. The recent discovery of a 46 cm long claw (chelicera) of the pterygotid eurypterid (‘sea scorpion’) Jaekelopterus rhenaniae , from the Early Devonian Willwerath Lagerstätte of Germany, reveals that this form attained a body length of approximately 2.5 m—almost half a metre longer than previous estimates of the group, and the largest arthropod ever to have evolved. Gigantism in Late Palaeozoic arthropods is generally attributed to elevated atmospheric oxygen levels, but while this may be applicable to Carboniferous terrestrial taxa, gigantism among aquatic taxa is much more widespread and may be attributed to other extrinsic factors, including environmental resources, predation and competition. A phylogenetic analysis of the pterygotid clade reveals that Jaekelopterus is sister-taxon to the genus Acutiramus , and is among the most derived members of the pterygotids, in contrast to earlier suggestions.

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          PHANEROZOICATMOSPHERICOXYGEN

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            Untersuchungen zur Morphologie, Taxonomie und Phylogenie der Chelicerata1 II. Cladogramme und die Entfaltung der Chelicerata

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              Chapter 17: Gigantism, Dwarfism, and Cope's Rule: “Nothing in Evolution Makes Sense without a Phylogeny”

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biology Letters
                Biol. Lett.
                The Royal Society
                1744-9561
                1744-957X
                February 23 2008
                November 20 2007
                February 23 2008
                : 4
                : 1
                : 106-109
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Earth Sciences, University of BristolWills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK
                [2 ]Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe, Direktion Archäologie/ErdgeschichteGroße Langgasse 29, 55116 Mainz, Germany
                [3 ]Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale UniversityPO Box 208109, New Haven, CT 06520-8109, USA
                Article
                10.1098/rsbl.2007.0491
                2412931
                18029297
                47d9746b-4d00-42dd-8d10-6219045f29f9
                © 2008

                https://royalsociety.org/journals/ethics-policies/data-sharing-mining/

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