Eurypterus remipes Eurypterid Sea Scorpion Fossil


Eurypterus remipes

Phylum Arthropoda; Subphylum Chelicerata; Class Merostomata; Order Eurypterida; Family Eurypteridae

Geological Time: Upper Silurian (~410 m.y.a.)

Size: 175 mm long by 92 mm wide at the swimming legs. Matrix: 230 mm by 165 mm

Fossil Site: Bertie Group, Fiddler’s Green Formation, Phelps Waterlime, Herkimer County, New York


Eurypterid Sea ScorpionDescription: While Eurypterids (“Sea Scorpions”) are uncommon fossils worldwide, New York state is one of the few places where conditions for preservation have been ideal. They were large arthropod predators during the Silurian and Devonian, reaching a maximum length of 2 meters. The Eurypterid colonies of New York are distinctly localized, with two being found above and two below the salt beds of what was termed the Salina Series. These colonies are presumed to be breeding pools of brackish to partly open basins. They are the Otisville Basin (Colony O), the Pittsford Pool (Colony P), the Herkimer Pool (Colony P), and the Buffalo Pool (Colony P). These last two are the most famous of them, yielding numerous fantastic specimens. Erypterus remipes was a small example of the Merostomata, with specimens having been found ranging from 8 mm to 280 mm in length.

Eurypterids are belived to have crawled along the seafloor, using grasping pincers to seize trilobites and other prey. This fine example is an adult, and has the swimming paddles and a walking leg preserved. Notice the compound eyes and detail to the prosoma. Much of the exoskeleton is preserved, the segmentation of the meso- and metasoma is well detailed, and the specimen is well-centered on the large dolostone matrix. Eurypterus remipes was designated the New York State Fossil by then Governor Mario Cuomo in 1984.

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