Book-lungs in a Lower Carboniferous scorpion

  title={Book-lungs in a Lower Carboniferous scorpion},
  author={Andrew J. Jeram},
  • 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… 

Homeosis in a scorpion supports a telopodal origin of pectines and components of the book lungs

The phenotype of this abnormal specimen suggests that the genital opercula, the pectines, and parts of the book lung may be derived from the telopodite of abdominal appendages rather than from epipods, which contradicts the “ancestral gill” hypothesis but reconciles features of the Palaeozoic scorpion fossil record with the embryology of modern scorpions.

Abdominal plates, spiracles and sternites in the ventral mesosoma of embryos of the desert scorpion Paruroctonus mesaensis (Scorpiones, Vaejovidae)

The scanning electron microscope was used to study changes in the ventral mesosoma of the vaejovid scorpion, Paruroctonus mesaensis, and supports an earlier hypothesis that aquatic scorpions had other mesosomal respiratory sites (e.g., pectines), resulting in less reliance on respiratory tissues above the abdominal plates.

Sperm carriers in Silurian sea scorpions

Exceptionally preserved Silurian fossils of Eurypterus tetragonophthalmus Fischer, 1839 preserve so-called ‘horn organs’ which are demonstrated as being equivalent to the spermatophore-producing parts of the genital tract in certain modern arachnids, which clarifies a long-running debate about sexing eurypterids based on the shape of the median abdominal appendage.

Gill structure and relationships of the Triassic cycloid crustaceans

  • J. Dzik
  • Biology
    Journal of morphology
  • 2008
It is proposed that the cycloid gills originated, in connection with the body size increase and adaptation to fresh‐water environment, as radially arranged infoldings of the respiratory areas cuticle, with strongly calcified rigid dorsal parts suspended from the carapace.

Ventral Mesosomal Changes in Embryos from Three Scorpion Families: Iuridae, Buthidae and Vaejovidae

In the devel- opmental stages herein examined, spiracles were formed in embryos of Paruroctonus mesaensis(Vaejov- idae); but there was no indication of ventral plates or sternites on the ventral mesosoma.

Scorpions from the Viséan of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland, with a revision of the infraorder Mesoscorpionina

  • A. Jeram
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 1993
The range of taphonomic effects observed in these and larger individuals suggests that, as a consequence of poor preservation, the morphology of some Upper Palaeozoic scorpions has been misinterpreted by previous workers.

Exploring the evolution and terrestrialization of scorpions (Arachnida: Scorpiones) with rocks and clocks

The results reveal a window of divergence from 335 to 266 Mya for the scorpion crown group, consistent with a Pangean origin of crown scorpions inferred from the biogeographical distribution of the extant fauna.

Development of respiratory structures in embryos and first and second instars of the bark scorpion, Centruroides gracilis (Scorpiones: Buthidae)

The SEM was used to study the development of respiratory structures in successive stages in relation to the overall changes occurring in the scorpions to suggest retention of this part through the 4–5 molts to maturation.



Palaeophysiology of terrestrialisation in the Chelicerata

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.

Lung-books in the Devonian Palæocharinidae (Arachnida)

The known Palæozoic and Mesozoic fossils have shown the presence of paired structures on the proximal opisthosomal sternites of a few forms, particularly among the Carboniferous Anthracomartida and Trigonotarbida, but there seem to be no records of definite lung-book structure in any fossil.

Arthropod cuticles in coal

An abundance of scorpion cuticles from Westphalian (Upper Carboniferous) coals of Yorkshire is described, and other records of arthropod cuticles in coals are reviewed. The absence of cuticles

A terrestrial fauna from the Scottish Lower Carboniferous

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