For the first time, scientists have discovered a 31 million year old crab fossil. According to a new study, with this discovery, many secrets related to the development of this unique creature, called horseshoe crab or horse crab, can be revealed. Although this creature’s name is on the crab, it is closer to spiders and scorpions. The species to which this fossil belongs has become extinct. It was found in Major Creek in Illinois, United States. It was found in such conditions where soft tissue could be well preserved.
very rare find
There are four species of this crab left. They all have a sturdy skeleton, 10 legs, and a U-shaped head. Their fossils have already been found, but the ancient head is not known. According to study author Russell Bicknell, for the first time, evidence of his brain was found. He told Live Science that the chance of finding a brain fossil is rarer than once in a million because soft tissue degrades very quickly.
For their protection, very special geological conditions or amber are necessary. The soft tissues of this organism were preserved for many years, thanks to which a copy of the brain was prepared. Bicknell pointed out that the brain looks like a groove in Majon Creek because iron carbonate fossils are kept here. The brain is broken down but in its place a groove of the clay mineral kaolinite is prepared.
Other fossils will be discovered under such conditions. Major Creek is very special for this. Studies have shown that this brain is very similar to today’s horseshoe crab. This study was published July 26 in the journal Geology.
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