Exquisitely Preserved Jurassic Astacus Crayfish from Liaoning

Astacus spinorostrinus

Order Decapoda, Family Astacidae

Geological Time: Jurassic

Size: Fossil is 3 ¾” in length (tail to tip of antennae) on a 8 x 6” plate

Fossil Site: Lingyuan Formation, Beipiao, Liaoning Province, China

Fossil Code: PFD229SM

Price: Sold

Crayfish Fossil  from LiaoningDescription: Chinese fossil dealers have an unfortunate, though earned reputation of taking great liberties in their preparation and sales of fossils. Paint and putty, mixing bones and taking artistic liberty are among the common practices. And these practices bridge the gap from crude to quite sophisticated.

A positive/negative specimen is one of the best ways of authenticating a fossil. This crayfish is absolutely untouched. It is preserved in the typical fine-bedded mudstone of the Lingyuan Formation. There has been no restoration or enhancement. Take careful note of the superb preservation of the 1st and 2 nd antennae, claws and carapace. The tail fan is tucked under, the right hand side faint, though visible.

This crayfish has been preserved in an exceptional manner. This is a bit complicated; I hope you understand my explanation. The Astacus is a split pair, and very 2D, however, it looks to me like the split runs right through the middle anterior to posterior. As such, I think we are looking at a mix of the inside of the dorsal view on one plate and the insides of the ventral on the other.

Astacus is a genus of crayfish found in Europe and western Asia, comprising three extant and four extinct species.

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