Superb Mesolimulus Solnhofen Horseshoe Crab Fossil

Mesolimulus walchi

Arthropoda, Crustacea, Xiphosura

Geologic Time: Late Jurassic, Kimmeridgian Stage

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): 110 mm long by 65 mm across on a 250 mm by 185 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Solnhofen Limestone, Malm Zeta 2, Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany

Mesolimulus walchiDescription: Xiphosura (horseshoe crabs) are related to the extinct Eurypterids, and more distantly to spiders and scorpions. They trace their ancestry back to the Cambrian, and proceed into the modern day as the genus Limulus. This is a fine example of a similar genus known as Mesolimulus from the lithographic limestone deposits of Eichstatt, Germany. These 150 million year old deposits are famous for their exceptionally well-preserved organisms, the most famous of which are the handful of specimens of the ancient bird Archaeopteryx. Crustaceans such as this rarely remain in articulation, making this a fine piece. Trackways are also found, with one spectacular example ending in the expired trackmaker! It is well-positioned on its large lithographic limestone matrix, and despite the matrix repairs, a superb representative of this remarkable largerstatt that is sure to be a welcome addition to any collection of specimens from the region.

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