EXCEPTIONALLY RARE Cretaceous Scorpion Fossil from Brazil

Name: Araripescorpius laibuuei

Arachnida; Scorpiones; Protoischnuridae

Geologic Time: Lower Cretaceous

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 33 mm long, 25 mm across. Matrix: 115 mm by 115 mm.

Fossil Site: Santana Formation, Crato Member, Chapado do Araripe, Ceara, Brazil

Description: This fine fossil specimen shows a scorpion with preserved pedipalps and body. Little material from this treasure trove ever becomes available, with scorpions one of the most rare of fossils. The fossil record for scorpions extends back to the Silurian some 400 million years ago. By 110 million years ago, they closely resembled their modern-day counterparts, as can be seen here. Examples from the Mesozoic and Tertiary are quite rare, making this a highly-desired specimen. While missing the abdomen, this is a most affordable example; complete ones command in excess of $2000. Interestingly, modern-day scorpion hunters use UV light to collect the fluorescent scorpions at night. Although this one is over 100 million years old, exposure to UV will cause this one to glow faintly with an eerie greenish-yellow light.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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