Solnhofen Mecochirus Lobster Fossil

Mecochirus longimanu

Subphylum Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Order Decapoda, Superfamily Glypheoidea

Geological Time: Upper Jurassic

Size: 197 mm

Fossil Site: Solnhofen Limestone, Eichstatt, Germany "Plattenkalk” Malm Zeta 2, Eichstatt, Germany

Mecochirus longimanu Solnhofen FossilDescription: This is an unusual member of the lobster family, with elongated first pair of walking legs that extraordinarily prominent, and the characteristic from which the species is named, as logimanu means long arm. Note that the arms are well preserved, some not seen in most Solnhofen Mecochirus fossils.
As with all members of Malacostraca Order Decapoda, lobsters have 10 legs matched to the last five of eight pairs of thorax-attached appendages. The three front pairs function as mouthparts and are called maxillipeds, and the rest are called pereiopods. Many decapods have large claws called chelae as one leg pair that are called chelipeds. Further appendages are found on the abdomen, with each segment capable of carrying a pair of biramous pleopods, the last of which form part of the tail fan (together with the telson) and are called uropods.
This fossil comes from the famous Solnhofen lithographic limestone Lagerstätte of Germany, and world class. These 150 million year old Jurassic strata have long yielded superb fossils, the most famous of which is the ancient bird Archaeopteryx.

Also see: Solnhofen Fossils

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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