Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The arms race in animals: can we learn something?

Scientists discovered the fossil of what they believe was an 8-foot sea scorpion that lived 390 million years ago.

Simon Braddy, a paleontologist from the University of Bristol, said that many fossils have been discovered of monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches and jumbo dragonflies. But nothing as big as this sea scorpion.

According to Prof. Jeorg W. Schneider, a paleontologist at Freiberg Mining Academy in southeastern Germany, these scorpions were dominant for millions of years because they didn't have natural enemies. Eventually they were wiped out by large fish with jaws and teeth.

Being the biggest and having the most armor does keep a species dominant. The U.S. has recently been concerned with a new arms race with China and possibly Japan. But maybe we should change our approach and start looking out for ways to cope with large fish with jaws and teeth.

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