Beckwithia typa Cambrian Aglaspid Fossil

Beckwithia typa

Class Merostomata, Order Aglaspidida, Family: Beckwithiidae (Aglaspididae)

Geologic Time: Upper Middle Cambrian

Size: 25 mm

Fossil Site: Weeks Formation, Millard County, Utah

Beckwithia typaDescription: This specimen is a rare example of the aglaspid Beckwithia. The aglaspids resemble the modern-day horseshoe crab, and include Beckwithia as their most famous member. Beckwithia achieved lengths of as much as 200 mm and are thought to have preyed on trilobites. The genus derives its name from Frank Beckwith, editor of the Millard County Chronicle in the first half of the 20th century, and a trilobitophile. This one would have been hard put to devour many of its contemporary trilobites, but perhaps preyed upon immature examples.

See related: Soft-bodied Cambrian Explosion Biota from Utah


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