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An unexpected diversity of Late Jurassic hermit crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura) in Central Europe

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A surprisingly wide range of carapace types of hermit crab (paguroid) anomurans (Decapoda, Crustacea) is recorded from strata of Late Jurassic age (late Oxfordian and Kimmeridgian) in southern Germany. New representatives of the superfamily Paguroidea described here comprise Eopaguropsis loercheri n. gen., n. sp. (Diogenidae), Jurapylocheles malutka n. gen., n. sp. (Pylochelidae), Ammopylocheles mclaughlinae n. gen., n. sp. (Pylochelidae), Eotylaspis wehnerae n. gen., n. sp. (Parapaguridae) and Eogastrodorus n. gen. The last-named is provisionally included in a new family, Gastrodoridae fam. nov., which is erected for the enigmatic Gastrodorus neuhausensis. In addition, Gastrodorus cf. neuhausensis is described from the middle Oxfordian of the Kraków area, southern Poland. This high paguroid diversity during the Late Jurassic is remarkable in documenting an early radiation of this group. In addition, the new family Gastrodoridae constitutes a direct link between the most primitive crabs and the Anomura. Several paguroid specimens have been collected from ammonite body chambers, thus lending support to the hypothesis that paguroids preferred mainly ammonite conchs for shelter before they turned to empty gastropod shells during the Late Cretaceous.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2008

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