The Cretaceous crab Rathbunopon: revision, a new species and new localities

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Abstract:

The crab genus Rathbunopon is exclusively known from Cretaceous rocks, mainly from Europe. Here two new European localities are presented: one in the Albian/Cenomanian of northern Spain yielding well-preserved specimens of Rathbunopon obesum, and one from the lower Aptian at the German-Austrian border yielding Rathbunopon schrattenkalkensis n. sp. Both are found in association with coral reefs. Based upon a revision of the genus, we place Rathbunopon within the Prosopidae. Furthermore, Homolopsis tuberculata is transferred to Rathbunopon. Placement of 'Rathbunopon' atherfieldensis in Rathbunopon is not tenable; we place it here within the Homoloidea in open nomenclature. With the addition of R. tuberculatum, Rathbunopon is interpreted to have evolved in the Hauterivian and diversified in the Albian/Cenomanian. Whereas R. obesum resided mainly in reefal settings, Rathbunopon species lived in a variety of environments and are suggested to be generalists.

Keywords: ALBIAN; APTIAN; AUSTRIA; BRACHYURA; CENOMANIAN; CRETACEOUS; DECAPOD; GERMANY; RATHBUNOPON; SPAIN

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2011/0170

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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