Beckwithia typa Aglaspids

Name: Beckwithia typa Aglaspid

Phylum: Arthropoda; Aglaspida > Incertae sedis, formerly Subphylum: Chelicerata; Class: Merostomata; Order: Aglaspida

Geological Time: Upper Middle Cambrian, Cenomanian Stage

Size: 70 to 100 mm

Fossil Locality: House Range, Weeks Formation, Millard County, Utah

Three specimens of the same species are shown below. These are arthropods known as Aglaspids (unranked as Aglaspida or Aglaspidida). Aglaspids resemble the modern-day horseshoe crabs, and contain as the most famous member the Beckwithia typa shown here, a monsterous creature reaching up to some 20 cm in overall length that is thought to have been a predator of trilobites. Beckwithia was named after Frank Beckwith, editor and publisher of the Millard County Chronicle of Delta, Utah in the early to middle 1900s, a man with a passion for trilobites. Aglaspids are thought by some scientists to have made the trackways named Protichnites.

Hesselbo S.P. (1989) The Aglaspidid Arthropod Beckwithia from the Cambrian of Utah and Wisconsin, Journal of Paleontology, 63(5) 636-642

click fossil pictures to enlarge

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