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.
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.