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Brontoscorpio is a scorpion (scorpionid arachnid arthropod) from the Pridoli-Early Devonian of the United Kingdom. It was named in 1972 by Erik Norman Kjellesvig-Waering. It was the biggest scorpion of all time, and was confused for being a pterygotid eurypterid, right before they discovered that it was a true scorpion.


Brontoscorpio had the generic scorpion body plan. It was an arachnid with a rounded cephalothorax, long arms with big claws, 2 small claws near its mouth, 4 pairs of walking legs, and a long tail ending in a venomous stinger. Its body would have been covered in a hard, chitinous exoskeleton.


Brontoscorpio was a predator, preying on fish, trilobites, small eurypterids, smaller scorpions, and small invertebrates. Its large arm claws were used for getting a hold of any struggling prey while it subdued them with its stinger, while its smaller claws were used to rip off small chunks out of their bodies.


Not much is known about Brontoscorpio, although some may speculate that it lived similarly to other scorpions, crawling after prey before snatching it with its arm claws, stinging it, and eating it alive.

In popular culture

Brontoscorpio was featured in the 1st episode of the 2005 documentary Walking with Monsters, where it chases down a Cephalaspis right before getting killed and eaten by a Pterygotus; as well as this, it was shown as stepping out of the sea in order to take advantage of the annual Cephalaspis migration. However, Cephalaspis started out in the Early Devonian, there is no evidence that Brontoscorpio was amphibious, and even though Brontoscorpio survived well into the Devonian, the land had already been colonized by the time Cephalaspis had come into the scene.