Time: Late Jurassic, Kimmeridgian Stage
inch): 110 mm long by 65 mm across on a 250 mm by 185 mm matrix
Site: Solnhofen Limestone, Malm Zeta 2, Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany
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.