Rare Carboniferous Horseshoe Crab Fossil Euproops rotundatus

Euproops rotundatus

Phylum Arthropda; Subphylum Chelicerata; Class Xiphosura; Order Xiphosurida

Geological Time: Pennsylvanian Wetsphalian B, Duckmantian Stage, Carboniferous (about 300 mya)

Size: 37 mm long by 39 mm

Fossil Site: Crook Hay Open Cast Quarry, Wigan, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Horseshoe Crab Fossil Euproops rotundatusXiphosura (horseshoe crabs) are related to the extinct Eurypterids, and more distantly to spiders and scorpions. They trace their ancestry back to the Cambrian, and proceed into the modern day as the genus Limulus. This one is most like the more common member of the genus Euproops danae found in the Mazon Creek deposits of Illinois. The distinguishing feature of Euproops is the far more rounded (rotund) aspect. The UK location from which this very 3-D specimen was collected is currently now landfilled.

Also see: Living fossils

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