Cretaceous Slipper Lobster Fossil

Scyllaridae indet

Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Crustacea, Order Decapoda, Order Malacostraca

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage

Size: 26 mm

Fossil Site: Lebanese Lagerstatt, Hajoula, Lebanon

Cretaceous Lobster FossilDescription: A fine example of a decapod of the Cenomanian Stage (93-97 million year old) sublithographic limestone strata near Hajoula, Lebanon. While identified by collector as Sculda (a mantis shrimp), I am more disposed to identify it as a slipper lobster based upon the “scoops” at the front, a characteristic of the Family Scyllaridae. Extant slipper lobsters are nocternal creatures. They are also called Bulldozer Lobsters in recognition of the shovel-looking modified antennae they use to plow through the substrate in a search for food. This is a suberb example of the degree of preservation often found in these lagerstatte deposits some 270 meters below the surface. Many invertebrate fossils from Lebanon are artificially colored, with otherwise light colored details highlighted by paint or stain. This one is entirely natural, just as in came out of the ground.

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