Newly-described Basal Ephemeropteran Insect Fossil

Cf Cretereisma antiqua

Class Insecta, Order Ephemeroptera

Geological Time: Lower Cretaceous, Late Aptian-Cenomanian (108-92 million years ago)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch):Insect fossil body: 13 mm; Forewings: 17 mm; Hindwings: 14 mm; Matrix: 95 mm by 105 mm.

Fossil Site: Crato Formation, Nova Olinda Member, Ceara, Brazil

Fossil Code: BI055

Price: $425.00 - sold

Ephemeropteran FossilDescription: The Araripe Basin of Brazil is home to a fantastic array of exquisitely-detailed Early Cretaceous fossils, some of which have been preserved in three dimensions. While the entire formation has until the last decade or so been termed the Santana Formation, David Martill has separated out the slightly older insect-bearing strata as the Nova Olinda Member of the Crato Formation. Quarrying operations for the purposes of obtaining paving stones exposes the remarkable insect fauna in much the same way that quarrying for lithographic limestone in Solnhofen has afforded a panoply of wonderfully-preserved Jurassic fossils in Germany. In addition to the many orders of insects, spiders, scorpions, decapod crustaceans, and many plants have been found. Interestingly, to date no pterosaurs or terrestrial vertebrates have been found, in stark contrast to the overlying Santana Formation deposits. This specimen belongs to a genus named just last year as a basal member of the Ephemeroptera, or mayflies. It possesses several archaic features that were thought to have been lost when Protereisma became extinct in the Permian. Less than a handful or specimens are known to science, and this one with all the wings splayed looks for all the world to have been taken from the pinning board of a collector. It is a most unique example of the taxon, and the first I have ever seen.

Insect Fossil Purchase Information

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