Rare Shelled Arthropod Pair from Scotland with Preserved Soft Tissue

Name: Malacostraca; Phyllocarida; Ceratiocaridae; Ceratiocaris papilio

Geological Time: Silurian, (~420 million years ago)

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 120 and 110 mm long on a 175 mm by 147 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Leshmagow, Scotland

Ceratiocaris papilio PhyllocaridsDescription: This unusual Phyllocarid arthropod is known as Ceratiocaris papilio. Phyllocarids are one of the lesser known branchiopod crustaceans from the Cambrian where they are among the earliest animals with a hard Phyllocarid arthropodshell. They have a fairly large carapace, which protects the anterior part of the body. This structure hinged along the dorsal edge like a bivalve. Usually only the carapace is found. Rarely are the soft parts preserved; even more rare is a double such as this. Colloquially termed the “pod shrimp”, the name for the genus actually means horned shrimp, presumably for the pointed extension at the front of the carapace. While there is a repaired matrix crack, it detracts little from this splendid specimen.

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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