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The holotype of the eurypterid Alkenopterus burglahrensis from the Lower Devonian (Siegenian) of the Westerwald area (Rhineland-Palatinate, SW Germany) is re-examined. In contrast to a previous concept, this species has flattened distal podomeres seven and eight and a movable flattened spine on the seventh podomere of the sixth prosomal appendage (podomere VI-7a). Based on the presence of such a slender paddle, A. burglahrensis has to be regarded as a basal 'swimming eurypterid' (Eurypterina) and is formally transferred here to the family Onychopterellidae, extending the stratigraphical range of this family into the Lower Devonian. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Richter A.,Abteilung Wissenschaft und Sammlungen | Wuttke M.,Direktion Landesarchaologie
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2012

Well-preserved lizard bone aggregates from the Lower Cretaceous (Barremian) coals of Uña (eastern Spain) show varying combinations of skeletal elements which obviously represent different stages of disarticulation. Unfortunately, this does not give information about the mode and timing of decomposition, besides the fact that the soft tissue decayed while the bone was very well preserved. Due to the absence of appropriate documentation of the decomposition sequence of an extant lizard carcass, an actualistic palaeontological experiment was conducted using a carcass of one individual of the iguanid Oplurus cuvieri. To get information about the invisible sub-integumentary disarticulation of the skeleton, this process was continuously documented using X-rays. The general agreement of the experiments with the fossil stages of preservation is consistent with a subaquatic decay process for the Uña lizards. Also, the experiments record an unambiguous order of disarticulation and dissociation under undisturbed conditions. Even if the influence of currents is left out in this experiment, predictions can be made for transportation processes, taking the susceptibility to detachment into account. © 2012 Senckenberg, Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer.


Poschmann M.,Direktion Landesarchaologie | Dunlop J.A.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Palaontologische Zeitschrift | Year: 2011

An association of trigonotarbid arachnids from Siegenian strata of Bürdenbach in the Westerwald is described. The Bürdenbach trigonotarbids are numerically dominated by a new genus and species, Spinocharinus steinmeyeri n. gen. n. sp., which is characterized by a rounded carapace with a unique pattern of thorn-like tubercles. A comparison with previously described Devonian trigonotarbids suggests that the new taxon is most probably assignable to the family Palaeocharinidae, which is well represented by the genus Palaeocharinus from the Scottish Rhynie cherts. This would constitute the first record of Palaeocharinidae from the Rhenish Devonian and contrasts sharply with previously described Emsian associations from the Rhenish Slate Mountains, which are dominated by archaeomartids. A rare archaeomartid, Archaeomartus cf. levis, occurs in association with the putative palaeocharinids. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Poschmann M.,Direktion Landesarchaologie | Braddy S.J.,University of Bristol
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2010

Arthropod trackways from the Early Devonian of Alken an der Mosel are described, assigned to the ichnospecies Palmichnium pottsae and attributed to medium-sized eurypterids known from the assemblage. Ichnological and sedimentological evidence suggests that several similarly sized animals simultaneously crawled towards, or away from, the shoreline traversing the lower intertidal zone, where conditions for trackway preservation were most favourable. Comparison with modern horseshoe crabs suggests that this synchronized behaviour may have been part of the reproductive cycle of eurypterids, supporting the previously formulated 'massmoult-mate' hypothesis. © 2010 Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer.


Schindler T.,Direktion Landesarchaologie | Wuttke M.,Direktion Landesarchaologie
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments | Year: 2015

New longitudinal profiles through the upper Oligocene Enspel Formation have been constructed based on previously published data and unpublished drilling records. The lithofacies is reinterpreted. The Enspel Formation represents deposits of a deep crater lake, Lake Enspel. The crater rim had steep inner slopes that remained intact until the end of deposition. There was no fluvial input. Alluvial inputs (mud flows) were derived from gullies on the crater’s inner rim, with some of these sediments deposited temporarily in alluvial fans. Thin subaerial pyroclastics from nearby volcanic eruptions also accumulated. Crater floor subsidence, episodic heavy rains, and earthquakes triggered flank collapses and slides on the alluvial fan slopes and led to the creation of thick debrites on the lake bottom. These debris flows are partly correlatable over the entire profundal zone. A new sedimentological–limnological cross-section through the Stöffel crater is presented here, and the levels of the lake water and groundwater and the altitudes of the surrounding landscape are given. © 2015, Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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