Furca mauretanica "
Time: Lower Ordovician
is 18 mm by 7 mm on a 32 mm by 25 mm and 60 mm by 40 mm matrix pair
Upper Fezouata Formation, Zagora, Morocco
This is a fine example of an Ordovician marellomorph known as “Furca
mauretanica”. The Marellomorpha are a small group of rare, primitive
arthropods. The order was named after the Burgess Shale genus Marella
(see my other offerings) and also includes Mimetaster
(again, see my other specimens). The genus was first known from specimens
found in Bohemia (Furca bohemica). In 2004 a new species was been
found in the Upper Fezouata Formation deposits near Zagora, Morocco.
The cuticle of specimens is typically preserved as a deep red or reddish-brown
mineralization. This specimen consists primarily of the cephalic shield,
anterior spines and attendant spinose processes; the trunk would have
projected out between a posterior pair of extensions,
not preserved here. What makes this one exceptional is the preservation
of antennae, the first such example I have ever had. The antennae
are readily visible, and are marked in the one field photograph.Very
few examples are offered, but new ones occasionally come to light.
Perhaps additional specimens will be found that are more complete
than this one, but for now it remains one of the best I have seen.
The name is listed as “Furca mauretanica” as it is considered
a nomen nudum, a name ascribed to it by a researcher in his PhD thesis,
but never formally published.
Reference: PhD Thesis of Peter Van Roy, University of Ghent, July
2006, pp 63-86.