Eurypterids
Specimen of the Month
Samuel J. Ciurca, Jr., Rochester, New York        by  Eurypterids.net
NOVEMBER 2009
Eurypterids: West Virginia
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Eurypterids have been known in West
Virginia since at least 1927 through mostly
fragmentary remains. See:
Silurian
eurypterids from West Virginia,
Willard
Parker Leutze (Journal of Paleontology;
September 1960; v. 34; no. 5; p. 1023-1026)
Joseph LaRussa and I visited a site in West Virginia (near Moatstown) to investigate reported possible eurypterid remains within the
Silurian Williamsport Sandstone. About 67 samples were collected from a thick interval of mudstone and and these revealed
countless eurypterid fragments with well-preserved cuticle, but diagnostic specimens were rare. The deposit appears to be the
result of high-energy (storm) deposition probably not far from shore. Intervals of hard sandstone are intercalated and may represent
sandbars, with the eurypterid remains settling between them in the muddy layers. Examination suggests the presence of possibly
three eurypterid species including a pterygotid (see below).
A
B
LEFT: Digging into some hard mudstone, replete
with fragments of eurypterid pieces. This is part of
the Silurian Williamsport Sandstone. A hard sand-
stone layer occurs just above my head and most
specimens collected came from below this bed.
READ ABSTRACT
(from Rochester Academy of Science
Poster Session - October 31, 2009)
BELOW: Eurypterid remains scattered across a
bedding plane. Most are simply pieces of tergites
and parts of other structures.
A shows burrowing
by
Cruziana organisms. B appears to represent a
relatively large lingulid brachiopod - such brachi-
opods are commonly associated with eurypterid
assemblages in New York sequences.
ABOVE: Scraps of eurypterid integument showing exceptionally preserved scales. The specimen at left may be from a pterygotid
eurypterid perhaps of a type characteristically found in similar-aged deposits in New York (e.g.
Erettopterus sp. in the Vernon Formation,
Salina Group). See (for example) PTERYGOTIDS (CHELICERATA; EURYPTERIDA) FROM THE SILURIAN VERNON FORMATION OF
NEW YORK, Ciurca & Tetlie, J. Paleontology 81 (4), 2007, pp. 725-736.
ABOVE
Rochester Academy of Science Poster
Session - October 31, 2009)