Giant Sea Scorpion Fossil Discovered In New Mexico

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This is huge news. Literally!

Scientists have discovered the fossil of a giant sea scorpion in New Mexico. The fossil was discovered last year, but the findings were just published in the scientific journal "Historic Biology," according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The fossil — which was over 4 feet long — was found in 305 million-year-old rocks in the Manzano Mountains. The fossil is mainly the back half of the animal. It was brought to the attention of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and paleontologist Spencer Lucas by a citizen who Lucas didn't want to identify.

"The reason this is important … is we never saw anything like this before. This kind of animal has never been found here," Lucas told the Albuquerque Journal.

Lucas added the fossil has never been found in North America.

It's a rare species of sea scorpion called Hibbertopterus lamsdelli. "Hibbertopterus lamsdelli belongs to a group of bizarre sea scorpions, the hibbertopterids, that reached lengths of over six feet," the New Mexico Museum of Natural History said in a statement. This new discovery is the fourth American hibbertopterid fossil.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, sea scorpions existed at least 100 million years before this fossil. It's believed that sea scorpions migrated into fresh water 300 million years later. They went extinct 252 million years ago.

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