Rare Xyloiulus Paleozoic Millipede Fossil from UK

Xyloiulus (Xylobius) sp.

Diplopoda, Xyloiulidae

Geological Time: Upper Carboniferous, Westphalian A Stage (310 million years ago)

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 35 mm (if straight)

Fossil Site: Shale above Haigh Yard Coal, Bickershaw, Leigh, Wigham, England

Xyloiulus Paleozoic Millipede FossilDescription: The fossil history of millipedes dates back to the Silurian, with some fossil burrows which may be attributed to millipedes having been found in the Devonian. Since millipedes live in habitats such as moist forest floors, fossilization is a very chancy occurrence. It is thought that they made the transition to fully terrestrial forms early in their evolutionary history. This one has some preserved legs in evidence. The genus was originally named Xylobius, but was changed when that name was found to be preoccupied by a Eucnemid beetle. The genus (usually with the incorrect name attached) was also found in North America and the Czech Republic.

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