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Scorpions trapped in amber: a remarkable window on their evolution over time from the Mesozoic period to present days

Lourenço, Wilson R.
J. venom. anim. toxins incl. trop. dis; 29: e20230040, 2023. graf, ilus, mapas
Artigo em Inglês | LILACS | ID: biblio-1506644


This synoptic review aims to bring some general information on fossil scorpions, namely those trapped in amber - fossilized resin - ranging from Lower Cretaceous through the Palaeocene and up to the Miocene. The question to be addressed is how the study of these fossils can be connected with possible present scorpionism problems. A precise knowledge of these ancient lineages provides information about the evolution of extant lineages, including the buthoids, which contain most known noxious species. Among the Arthropods found trapped in amber, scorpions are considered rare. A limited number of elements have been described from the Late Tertiary Dominican and Mexican amber, while the most ancient Tertiary amber from the Baltic region produced more consistent results in the last 30 years, primarily focusing on a single limited lineage. Contrarily, the Cretaceous amber from Myanmar, also called Burmite, has yielded and continues to yield a significant number of results represented by several distinct lineages, which attest to the considerable degree of diversity that existed in the Burmese amber-producing forests. As in my previous similar contributions to this journal, the content of this note is primarily addressed to non-specialists whose research embraces scorpions in various fields such as venom toxins and public health. An overview knowledge of at least some fossil lineages can eventually help to clarify why some extant elements associated with the buthoids represent dangerous species while others are not noxious.(AU)
Biblioteca responsável: BR68.1