Bundenbach Hunsruck Slate Arthropods with Preserved Soft Tissue
Exceptionally RARE Nahecaris
steurtzi Phyllocarid
and Preserved legs of Chotecops ferdinandi Trilobite

Nahecaris steurtzi Phyllocarid

Subphylum Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Subclass Phyllocarida


Chotecops ferdinandi Trilobite

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae

Geological Time: Lower Devonian, Seigenian/Emsian Stage (~390 million years ago)

Size: Nahecaris fossil is 68 mm long Chotecops fossil is 37 mm long by 24 mm across on a 200 mm by 145 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Hunsrück Slate, Bundenbach Germany

Nahecaris steurtziDescription: This unusual Phyllocarid arthropod is known as Nahecaris steurtzi. Phyllocarids are one of the lesser-known branchiopod crustaceans from the Cambrian where they are among the earliest animals with a hard shell. 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 Chotecops ferdinandicarapace is found. Rarely are the soft parts preserved. To better interpret this wonderful specimen, I have included a photograph of an X-Ray (below left) that was taken. I will include the original with the specimen to the person lucky enough to acquire this exceptional example.

The Hunsruck slate is famous for its fossils, many of which have pyritization present. Rapid burial and pyritization was what led to the many wonderful examples of early Devonian life from the region. The chemistry of the silt was such that low organic content and high levels of iron and sulfur allowed the pyrite to diffuse into the tissues rather than be deposited in the sediment. The mudstones were metamorphosed into slate during the Carboniferous. The slate was quarried for roofing tiles, and the quarrymen would save Nahecaris steurtzi xraythe fossils for later sale. Now that the quarries are no longer open, future supplies of these wonderfully preserved benthic organisms will only come from existing collections.

Found on the reverse is a trilobite known as Chotecops, seen here with preserved limbs, making this a most unusual association plaque. While the price may seem high, soft tissue preservation in Nahcaris is EXCEEDINGLY rare. Specimens without ANY soft tissue have commanded $1500 prices at recent international fossil expositions. I’ve included an artist’s rendering of the similar Phyllocarid known as Ceratiocaris.

click fossil pictures to enlarge


l Paleontology & Fossils l Paleobiology and Geologic Timeline l
l Fossil Amber l Ammonite Fossils l Dinosaur and Reptile Fossils l Fossil Kits l
l Crinoids and Echinoderms l Fish Fossils l Fossil Dealers l Insect Fossils l Invertebrate Fossils l
l Plant Fossils l Stromatolites l Trace & Ichnofossils l Trilobite Fossils l Vertebrate Fossils l