Megarachne

  • megarachne
    temporal range: gzhelian
    303.7–298.9 ma
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    cast of megarachnes holotype specimen.
    cast of the holotype specimen of megarachne exhibited at royal ontario museum
    scientific classification edit
    kingdom: animalia
    phylum: arthropoda
    subphylum: chelicerata
    order: eurypterida
    superfamily: mycteropoidea
    family: mycteroptidae
    genus: megarachne
    hünicken, 1980
    species:
    m. servinei
    binomial name
    megarachne servinei
    hünicken, 1980

    megarachne is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. fossils of megarachne have been discovered in deposits of late carboniferous age, from the gzhelian stage, in san luis, argentina. the fossils of the single and type species m. servinei have been recovered from deposits that had once been a freshwater environment. the generic name, composed of the ancient greek μέγας (megas) meaning "great" and ancient greek ἀράχνη (arachne) meaning "spider", translates to "great spider", because the fossil was misidentified as a large prehistoric spider.

    with a body length of 54 cm (21 in), megarachne was a medium-sized eurypterid. if the original identification as a spider had been correct, megarachne would have been the largest known spider to have ever lived. eurypterids such as megarachne are often called "sea scorpions", but the strata in which megarachne has been found indicates that it dwelled in freshwater and not in marine environments.

    megarachne was similar to other eurypterids within the mycteropoidea, a rare group known primarily from south africa and scotland. the mycteropoids had evolved a specialized method of feeding referred to as sweep-feeding. this involved raking through the substrate of riverbeds in order to capture and eat smaller invertebrates. despite only two specimens having been recovered, megarachne represents the most complete eurypterid discovered in carboniferous deposits in south america so far.[1] due to their fragmentary fossil record and similarities between the genera, some researchers have hypothesized that megarachne and two other members of its family, mycterops and woodwardopterus, represent different developmental stages of a single genus.

  • description
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  • classification
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Megarachne
Temporal range: Gzhelian
303.7–298.9 Ma
Cast of Megarachnes holotype specimen.
Cast of the holotype specimen of Megarachne exhibited at Royal Ontario Museum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Order: Eurypterida
Superfamily: Mycteropoidea
Family: Mycteroptidae
Genus: Megarachne
Hünicken, 1980
Species:
M. servinei
Binomial name
Megarachne servinei
Hünicken, 1980

Megarachne is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Megarachne have been discovered in deposits of Late Carboniferous age, from the Gzhelian stage, in San Luis, Argentina. The fossils of the single and type species M. servinei have been recovered from deposits that had once been a freshwater environment. The generic name, composed of the Ancient Greek μέγας (megas) meaning "great" and Ancient Greek ἀράχνη (arachne) meaning "spider", translates to "great spider", because the fossil was misidentified as a large prehistoric spider.

With a body length of 54 cm (21 in), Megarachne was a medium-sized eurypterid. If the original identification as a spider had been correct, Megarachne would have been the largest known spider to have ever lived. Eurypterids such as Megarachne are often called "sea scorpions", but the strata in which Megarachne has been found indicates that it dwelled in freshwater and not in marine environments.

Megarachne was similar to other eurypterids within the Mycteropoidea, a rare group known primarily from South Africa and Scotland. The mycteropoids had evolved a specialized method of feeding referred to as sweep-feeding. This involved raking through the substrate of riverbeds in order to capture and eat smaller invertebrates. Despite only two specimens having been recovered, Megarachne represents the most complete eurypterid discovered in Carboniferous deposits in South America so far.[1] Due to their fragmentary fossil record and similarities between the genera, some researchers have hypothesized that Megarachne and two other members of its family, Mycterops and Woodwardopterus, represent different developmental stages of a single genus.

Other Languages
Deutsch: Megarachne
español: Megarachne
français: Megarachne
한국어: 메가라크네
עברית: מגארכנה
ქართული: Megarachne
Nederlands: Megarachne
日本語: メガラシネ
polski: Megarachne
中文: 蛛鱟屬