Named By: M. L. Perry - 1995.
Synonyms: Uintascorpio halandrasi.
Classification: Arthropoda, Arachnida, Scorpiones, Buthidae.
Species: U. halandrasorum (type).
Size: Preserved length 25.25 millimetres long. Total length estimated to be about 39.25 millimetres.
Known locations: USA, Colorado - Green River Formation, Parachute Creek Member.
Time period: Ypresian/Lutetian of the Eocene.
Fossil representation: Almost complete adult preserved on a slab.
is a genus of scorpion that lived in the state of Colorado during the
mid-Eocene. When first described, Uintascorpio
was considered to be
a member of the Vaejovidae scorpions, but this has not gained popular
acceptance. At the time of writing the most recent analysis of
Uintascorpio is that it is a buthid scorpion
(member of the
Buthidae). Buthids make up the largest family of scorpions, and
in modern forms, some of the deadliest scorpions that we know of
belong to the Buthidae. Buthid scorpions like Uintascorpio
dubbed fat tailed scorpions because their tails are usually much fatter
than the tails of other scorpions.
The general rule about dealing with scorpions is that fat tail but small pincers means that you are dealing with a scorpion that relies heavily upon large amounts of potent venom to kill prey, and this describes the buthid scorpions pretty well. By contrast other scorpions that have large pincers and thin tails usually just have weak and small amounts of venom because they rely upon the strength of their claws to kill prey.
Like their buthid relatives, Uintascorpio had long but thin pincers and a large and fat tail, all indicators that Uintascorpio relied upon their venom and not their pincers for killing prey. The small size of Uintascorpio combines with the thin pincers indicates that Uintascorpio would have hunted other invertebrates such as insects, spiders as well as other small miscellaneous invertebrates. The thin pincers are long, which would make it easier Uintascorpio to grab a hold of prey while its tail curled over its body on its way to deliver a sting. The pincers would have also been able to reach into small crevices to pluck out prey. Once the prey had been subdued by the venom, the pincers would have brought the preys body close to the mouth pieces which then would have sliced up and broken apart the preys body as the scorpion fed.
- Preliminary description of a new fossil scorpion from the middle Eocene Green River Formation, Rio Blanco County, Colorado. - The Green River Formation in Piceance Creek and Eastern Uinta Basins (Grand Junction, Colorado: Grand Junction Geological Society.): 131–133. - M. L. Perry, W. R. Averett (ed) - 1995.
- A redescription and family placement of Uintascorpio Perry, 1995 from the Parachute Creek Member of the Green River Formation (middle Eocene) of Colorado, USA (Scorpiones: Buthidae). Revista Ibérica de Aracnología 10: 7–16. - Jorge A. Santiago-Blay, Michael E. Soleglad & Victor Fet - 2004.