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World’s oldest scorpions show no change from 437 million years ago

Wendruff, A.J., Babcock, L.E., Wirkner, C.S. et al. A Silurian ancestral scorpion with fossilised internal anatomy illustrating a pathway to arachnid terrestrialisation. Sci Rep 10, 14 (2020) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-56010-z

Found near Waukesha, Wisconsin:

Today in Scientific Reports, paleontologists announce the discovery of the oldest known scorpions to date: a pristinely preserved pair of 437-million-year-old fossils, complete with what seem to be venom-packed tails.

The dangerous-looking duo, newly christened Parioscorpio venator, bear a remarkable resemblance to modern species, showing scorpions hit upon a successful survival strategy early in their evolution, says study author Andrew Wendruff, a paleontologist at Otterbein University …

Together with other, younger fossils from the same geologic period, the ancient arachnids suggest that scorpions have looked and acted in much the same way ever since they first appeared on Earth…

“The amazing preservation of the internal anatomy … reiterates how the [scorpion] ground plan has stayed the same, not just on the outside, but the inside, too,” says Lorenzo Prendini, a scorpion evolution expert at the American Museum of Natural History who helped uncover another batch of Silurian fossils from this lineage, but wasn’t involved in the new study.

Katherine J. Wu, “World’s Oldest Scorpions May Have Moved From Sea to Land 437 Million Years Ago” at Smithsonian Magazine

It doesn’t sound as though they bothered with much evolution. How would we distinguish their origin from creation? At a certain point, does evolution become creation? Just wondering.

It’s not clear how committed these scorpions were to living on land but apart from that

“Anything that pushes the origins of arachnids back further is significant,” wrote paleontologist Jason Dunlop, curator of arachnids at Berlin’s Natural History Museum, in an email to Science. That’s because arachnids are the second most diverse group of animals after insects, and thus could shed light on the origin of spiders, ticks, mites, and modern-day scorpions …

The scientists also noted that the internal anatomy of the ancient animals was well preserved, which is rare for fossils of this age. When they compared the anatomy of the two fossils to modern-day scorpions, they found striking similarities in the circulatory and respiratory structures. “This suggests that parts of the internal anatomy of scorpions have not changed much in nearly 440 million years,” Dunlop says. The researchers know the ages of fossils ages thanks to other well-dated animal fossils at the site.

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, “This is the oldest scorpion known to science” at Science

Paper. (open access)

See also: Half-Billion-Year-Old Predator Is The Mother Of All Spiders?


Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

Hi, Mung! kairosfocus
https://evolutionnews.org/2020/01/the-oldest-scorpion-and-the-decadence-of-evolutionary-science/ Mung
"Elements of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems are preserved, and they are essentially indistinguishable from those of present-day scorpions but share similarities with marine relatives." [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56010-z] Is this having a bet each way? aarceng
That's because 'divergence of character' fails as proven: http://nonlin.org/divergence-of-character-myth/ Summary: 1. ‘Regression to the mean’ is the biological law that overrules passive ‘Divergence of Character’ 2. In stable environments, population variability is extremely well conserved from generation to generation 3. Observed long term regression is highly unexpected and contrary to ‘divergence of character’ and ‘drift’ hypotheses 4. Adaptation neither demands not implies ‘divergence of character’ in any way 5. Adaptation is “fast and done”, “do or die” by necessity, unlike the supposed “slow and ongoing” ‘divergence of character’ 6. Adaptation has limited powers and is thus not a substitute for ‘divergence of character’ 7. ‘Divergence of character’ hypothesis would lead to uniform rather than normal (Gaussian) distributions as observed in homogenous populations 8. A trend not supported by several period observations must be discarded as noise artifact 9. The unwarranted inflation of “species” that do not even meet the loosest definition of reproductive isolation has the sole purpose of perpetuating the myth of ‘divergence of character’ 10. Multimodal distributions in homogenous populations are not due to ‘divergence of character’ 11. Mendelian tables show “probabilistic traits conservation”, disproving ‘divergence of character’ (at least as byproduct of reproduction), as well as dismissing ‘gradualism’ 12. Island biology proves adaptation and the biologic spring model while disproving ‘divergence of character’ 13. What’s in, what’s out? IN: ‘regression to the mean’, ‘adaptation’, coexisting variants, long term stability, spring model, normal distributions. OUT: ‘divergence of character’, gradualism, drift, speciation, uniform distributions, “natural selection”, “survival of the fittest”, “evolution”. Nonlin.org
437 million years must not be enough time. They'll get around to evolving at some point. They're just lazy creatures who can't seem to figure it out. BobRyan

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