Juvenile Eurypterid Sea Scorpion Fossil Eurypterus remipes

Eurypterus remipes

Merostomata, Eurypterida, Eurypteridae

Geological Time: Upper Silurian, (~410 m.y.a.)

Size: 60 mm long by 30 mm wide at the swimming legs

Fossil Site: Bertie Group, Fiddler’s Green Formation, Phelps Waterlime, Herkimer County, New York

EurypteridDescription: While Eurypterids (“Sea Scorpions”) are uncommon fossils worldwide, New York state is one of the few places where conditions for preservation have been ideal. They were large arthropod predators during the Silurian and Devonian, reaching a maximum length of 2 meters. The Eurypterid colonies of New York are distinctly localized, with two being found above and two below the salt beds of what was termed the Salina Series. These colonies are presumed to be breeding pools of brackish to partly open basins. They are the Otisville Basin (Colony O), the Pittsford Pool (Colony P), the Herkimer Pool (Colony P), and the Buffalo Pool (Colony P). These last two are the most famous of them, yielding numerous fantastic specimens. Erypterus remipes was a small example of the Merostomata, with specimens having been found ranging from 8 mm to 280 mm in length. It is presumed to have crawled along the seafloor, using its grasping pincers to seize trilobites and other prey. This fine example is a juvenile, and has the swimming paddles and a pair of walking legs preserved. The segmentation of the meso- and metasoma is well detailed, and the specimen is well-centered on the dolostone matrix. This is a fine example of the fossil designated the New York State Fossil by then Governor Mario Cuomo in 1984.

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