Book-lungs in a Lower Carboniferous scorpion

@article{Jeram1990BooklungsIA,
  title={Book-lungs in a Lower Carboniferous scorpion},
  author={Andrew J. Jeram},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1990},
  volume={343},
  pages={360-361}
}
  • A. Jeram
  • Published 1990
  • Environmental Science
  • Nature
INDIRECT evidence indicates that scorpions, which first appeared in the middle Silurian, were originally aquatic organisms like their eurypterid relatives1. Living scorpions have four pairs of book-lungs, each pair situated above a sternite on the ventral surface of the mesosoma (anterior abdomen) and each book-lung opening to the outside through a stigma which perforates the sternite. By contrast, most Palaeozoic scorpions had five abdominal plates, homologues of abdominal appendages, which… 

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New and well-preserved material of the earliest demonstrably terrestrial scorpions from the Lower Carboniferous suggests that book-lungs developed directly from book-gills by suturing of the covering plate to leave stigmata for diffusion of air, supporting the ideas of early authors that the scorpion mesosomal ‘sternites’ are fused plates.

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Despite several important discoveries, extending over more than 120 years, our knowledge of early land vertebrates is still sparse. The earliest tetrapod remains are known from the Upper Devonian of

Scorpions take to the water