eurypterid


eurypterid
/yoo rip"teuh rid, yeuh-/, n.
any aquatic arthropod of the extinct order Eurypterida, from the Paleozoic Era, closely related to trilobites and scorpions.
[1870-75; < NL Eurypteridae. See EURY-, -PTEROUS, -ID2]

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Member of an extinct order (Eurypterida) of arthropods, similar in body plan to the horseshoe crab, that lived c.

505–245 million years ago. Frequently referred to as giant scorpions, most eurypterids were small, although Pterygotus buffaloenis, a species from the Silurian period, was the largest arthropod ever known, reaching a length of about 10 ft (3 m). The eurypterids lived in brackish waters. Some were predators; others were probably bottom-dwelling scavengers.

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      member of an extinct order (Eurypterida) of unusual arthropods rarely preserved as fossils. The eurypterids appeared at the beginning of the Ordovician Period (about 488 million years ago) and became extinct at the end of the Permian Period (about 251 million years ago).

      Frequently referred to as giant scorpions, most eurypterids were small animals, although Jaekelopterus rhenaniae (also called Pterygotus rhenanius or P. buffaloenis), a species from the Silurian Period (about 444 to 416 million years ago) in North America, was the largest arthropod ever known; it reached a length of about 2.5 metres (8 feet). Similar in body plan to the horseshoe crab, eurypterids consisted of many segments; the animal's anterior appendages served as oarlike swimming organs. Some eurypterids were active predators and could probably swim rapidly after prey, whereas others were probably bottom-dwelling scavengers. The eurypterids inhabited brackish-water environments and generally occurred among a specialized, often impoverished, faunal assemblage.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • eurypterid — fossil swimming crustacean of the Silurian and Devonian, 1874, from eurys broad, wide (see ANEURYSM (Cf. aneurysm)) + pteron feather, wing (see PETITION (Cf. petition)); so called from their swimming appendages …   Etymology dictionary

  • eurypterid — [yo͞o rip′tər id΄] n. [< ModL Eurypterida < Gr eurys, broad + pteron, FEATHER, wing: so named from a pair of broad swimming appendages] any of an extinct order (Eurypterida) of large, aquatic arthropods of the Paleozoic Era, similar to the… …   English World dictionary

  • Eurypterid — Taxobox name = Eurypterids fossil range = Fossil range|510|248 Cambrian Permian image caption = Eurypterid from Ernst Haeckel s Kunstformen der Natur , 1904. regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda subphylum = Chelicerata classis = Eurypterida… …   Wikipedia

  • eurypterid — noun Etymology: ultimately from Greek eury + pteron wing more at feather Date: 1871 any of an order (Eurypterida) of usually large aquatic Paleozoic arthropods resembling scorpions and related to the horseshoe crabs called also sea scorpion •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • eurypterid — noun A large, prehistoric, carnivorous arthropod, of the order Eurypterida, thought to be one of the first animals to venture onto land. Syn: sea scorpion …   Wiktionary

  • eurypterid — [ˌjʊ(ə) rɪptərɪd] noun a giant fossil marine arthropod of a group occurring in the Palaeozoic era, resembling large scorpions. Origin C19: from mod. L. Eurypterus (genus name), from eury + Gk pteron wing + id3 …   English new terms dictionary

  • eurypterid — eu·ryp·te·rid …   English syllables

  • eurypterid — eu•ryp•ter•id [[t]yʊˈrɪp tə rɪd, yə [/t]] n. pal any extinct aquatic arthropod of the Paleozoic order Eurypterida, related to horseshoe crabs • Etymology: 1870–75; < NL Eurypteridae. See eury , pterous, id II …   From formal English to slang

  • eurypterid — /juˈrɪptərɪd/ (say yooh riptuhrid) noun any of the Eurypterida, a group of extinct Palaeozoic arthropods resembling in some respects the horseshoe crabs. {New Latin Eurypterida, plural, from Greek eury eury + Greek pteron wing + ida (see id2) …   Australian English dictionary

  • eurypterid — noun large extinct scorpion like arthropod considered related to horseshoe crabs • Hypernyms: ↑arthropod • Member Holonyms: ↑Eurypterida, ↑order Eurypterida …   Useful english dictionary


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