Museum Fossil Mazon Creek Millipede

Euphoberia tracta

Archipolypoda, Euphoberiidae

Geological Time: Carboniferous, Westphalian Stage

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Millipede fossil is 63 mm on a 30 mm by 62 mm nodule pair

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

Code: HMC02

Price: $595.00 - sold

EuphoberiaDescription: 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 the spiny millipedes known as Euphoberia tracta, and comes from Mazon Creek itself. The fossil history of millipedes dates back to the Silurian, with some fossil burrows which may be attributed to millipedes having been found in the Devonian. Since millipedes live in habitats such as moist forest floors, fossilization is a very chancy occurrence. It is thought that they made the transition to fully terrestrial forms early in their evolutionary history. These are thought to have led a cursorial existence in more open habitats where their spines would have aided in warding off would-be predators. Note that there are many preserved limbs, and the finely segmented abdomen is quite evident in this part/counterpart 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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