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Decorah Sea Scorpion Welcome Home Party

November 17, 2022


Come help welcome home and celebrate our local fossil celebrity, Pentecopterus decorahensis! On Thursday, November 17 a life-sized model of the ancient giant sea scorpion discovered beneath Decorah will be unveiled at Impact Coffee.

While it will eventually live full time at Luther College, this model will first spend some time at Impact Coffee, starting with this community “meet and greet.” Attend the Welcome Home Party to learn more about the discovery of the sea scorpion fossils and the Decorah Crater in which it was found, to interact with the life-size model, and to hear more about the ongoing efforts to raise funds to support telling the story of Pentecopteris decorahensis and the Decorah Crater.

Pentecopterus decorahensis was a giant sea scorpion and is the oldest known species of eurypterid (exctint sea scorpions). It was a large apex predator during the Ordivician period, approximately 470 million years ago. Adult and juvenile fossil specimens were discovered in a fossil bed under the Upper Iowa River near Decorah, which could only be accessed by temporarily damming the river. The fossils were preserved in sediment layers formed where the shallow sea covering Iowa at the time flooded the Decorah Crater, a massive basin created by the force of a meteor impact.

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