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May 3, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Pretty Glad This Is Extinct Actually

Giant Creepy Crawly

A British scientist has discovered the tracks of the creepiest bug to ever exist.

The tracks were made by a giant six-legged “sea scorpion” called Hibbertopterus as it crawled over damp sand about 330 million years ago.

The animal, which is related to modern-day scorpions and horseshoe crabs, was about two metres long and about one metre wide.

The track, found in a rock by Dr Martin Whyte from the University of Sheffield, was made by the tail of the animal as it dragged over the sand.

It is the largest known walking trackway of a eurypterid or any invertebrate animal.

This new find contrasts previous fossil evidence which suggested the creepy giant bug lived in the water for most, if not all of the time.

Whyte told the BBC that the track was scientifically significant, but precarious as the fossil has been exposed to the elements.

“Removing it and housing it in a museum would be prohibitively costly, but moulding it in silicone rubber and making copies for educational and research purposes means that we can still see and research this huge creature’s tracks in years to come.”

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