Museum Protecticus ambulans Insect Fossil
Extinct Insect Order Protorthoptera

Protecticus ambulans

Order Protorthoptera, Family Spanioderidae

Geological Time: Carboniferous, Westphalian Stage

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Fossil is 28 mm with 19 mm wings on a 34 mm by 25 mm nodule pair

Fossil Site: Mazon Creek, Francis Creek Shale, Braidwood, Illinois

Code: HMC07

Price: $1095.00 - sold

ProtecticusDescription: The Mazon Creek deposits of the region near Braidwood, Illinois rival the other famous Lagerstatten of the Burgess Shale, Solnhofen, and Liaoning for the variety of detailed life preserved. Many exquisitely-preserved specimens are found in the ironstone nodules that make up the deposits. This fine example is one of a member of the Protorthoptera, and comes from Mazon Creek itself. The Protorthopera are obviously related to the Orthoptera, but lack the jumping hind legs associated with that more modern order. They are known only from the Upper Carboniferous to the Permian when they became extinct as did so much of life on Earth. Note the fine details preserved here; the thorax and abdomen are often obscured by the wings, but are clearly evident in this exceptional specimen. I have recently been able to procure specimens from a family who has been collecting this material in the field for three generations, and will continue posting material as it becomes available to me.

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