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Other fossil arthropods

There were once lots of weird and wacky arthropods.

A  model of a sea scorpion Many other arthropods, besides trilobites, have been seen in the fossil record and most of them are now extinct.

Sea-scorpions (eurypterids), lived mainly in coastal lagoons and freshwater, though some early forms lived in the sea. Related to spiders and scorpions, they were fierce predators that could grow up to two metres in length. They died out at the same time as the trilobites.

Horseshoe crabs are also related to spiders and scorpions. They have a large circular body, twelve legs and a long tail spine. They first appeared about 400 million years ago and became the "modern" shape about 250 million years ago. They can still can be found living in coastal waters in Asia and on the eastern shores of North America, and are sometimes referred to as living fossils.

Recent horseshoe crab Fossil horseshoe crab
If you compare the recent specimen with the fossil you can see that the horseshoe crab has hardly changed in 250 million years.


The arthropod wheel Find out about fossil arthropods Find out about trilobites Find out about fossil crustaceans Find out about fossil insects Find out about other fossil arthropods
The arthropods are split into different groups. Here we will look at the trilobites, crustaceans, insects and other fossil arthropods.



Arthropods
Trilobites
Crustaceans
Insects
Other fossil arthropods

 

If you read these pages you should become an expert invertebrate identifier!
The major groups are listed below - select a link to learn more about this type of fossil.

Sponges Corals
Molluscs Brachiopods
Arthropods Graptolites
Echinoderms Return to the wheel

If you know it all already, return to the Homepage or test yourself with our Quiz!