Rare Mazoscolopendra Centipede from Mazon Creek

Mazoscolopendra richardsoni

Class Chilopoda, Order Scolopendromorpha

Geological Time: Pennsylvanian (~300 m.y.a.)

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Centipede fossil is 48 mm long (curve measure); Matrix: 75 mm by 55 mm nodule pair

Fossil Site: Pit 11, Morris, Illinois (Mazon Creek)

Code: RCF05

Price: Sold

Mazoscolopendra richardsoniDescription: 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. The majority of collecting areas are the spoil heaps of abandoned coal mines, the most famous of which is Peabody Coal Pit 11. Pit 11 now serves as a cooling pond for the Braidwood nuclear power plant, but with over 100 other localities, specimens still come to light. This specimen is of a group rarely seen from the Mazon Creek fauna known as the scolopedromorph centipede Mazoscolopendra richardsoni. Together with the Mazon Creek Palenarthus impressus they comprise the only known Mesozoic scolopendromorphs. There is another Mazon Creek centipede, the scutigeromorph Latzelia primordalis; altogether only some 5 dozen specimens of the three were known at the end of the 20th century.

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