Terropterus xiushanensis – IASPOINT

Terropterus xiushanensis

Terropterus is an extinct group of arthropods. Arthropods are invertebrates (that is they do not have backbone). They have an exoskeleton and a segmented body. The species Terropterus xiushanensis was discovered from the fossils in China in 2021. It is a mixopterid. This was the first time a mixopterid has been discovered in China. They belong to the early Silurian age. The Silurian age is a geologic period between 443.8 million years ago and 419.2 million years ago. In simple terms, they are sea scorpions.

About Terropterus

It has a scorpion like appearance. They grow up to 100 centimetres in length. They have a large and forward-facing appendage and it was used to capture prey. They played a major role of top predator in the marine ecosystem. Terropterus is one of the few known mixopterid.


Apart from Terropterus, only two other mixopterids are known to humans. They are Mixopterus and Lanarkopterus. Mixopterids are a group of Eurypterids. Eurypterids are sea scorpions. The main characteristic feature of a mixopterid is that they have a large and spiny forward-facing appendage. Terropterus is the only mixopterid found in the Gondwana land. The Gondwana land was once made of Africa, South America, Australia, Indian subcontinent, and Antarctica. These continents then separated from Gondwana land.

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