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Published on November 26th, 2007 | by Christian Cawley

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Macra!

Doctor Who – fact or fiction? Like all great fiction, I think it’s fair to say that it is on the whole largely grounded in truth; but who could have imagined a truth such as a real life giant claw!?

Last week, details of an immense fossilised claw of a 2.5m-long (8ft) sea creature were released.

Recalling memories of the Macra (The Macra Terror, Gridlock) as well as Cybermats, the 390-million-year-old sea scorpion specimen was found in a German quarry.

The creature has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, and it is believed it would have paddled in a river or swamp. The claw meanwhile measures an astonishing 46cm – indicating its owner would have been longer an average human.

Its size suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were perhaps much larger in the past than previously thought…

According to the BBC:

The species existed during a period in Earth history when oxygen levels in the atmosphere were much higher than today.

And it was those elevated levels, some palaeo-scientists believe, that may have helped drive the super-sized bodies of many of the invertebrates that existed at that time – monster millipedes, huge cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies.

Interesting how gas levels are blamed, bringing us back to Gridlock

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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