A new polychelidan lobster from the Alpine Lower Jurassic of southeastern Switzerland

Type Article
Date 2020-05
Language English
Author(s) Audo Denis1, 2, Furrer Heinz3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Yunnan Univ, Yunnan Key Lab Palaeobiol, North Cuihu Rd 2, Kunming 650091, Yunnan, Peoples R China.
2 : Yunnan Univ, MEC Int Joint Lab Palaeobiol & Palaeoenvironm, Kunming, Yunnan, Peoples R China.
3 : Univ Zurich, Palaontol Inst & Museum, Karl Schmid Str 4, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland.
Source Neues Jahrbuch Fur Geologie Und Palaontologie-abhandlungen (0077-7749) (E Schweizerbartsche Verlagsbuchhandlung), 2020-05 , Vol. 296 , N. 1-2 , P. 29-40
DOI 10.1127/njgpa/2020/0900
WOS© Times Cited 3
Keyword(s) Crustacea, Coleiidae, Hettangian, Allgau Formation, palaeobiodiversity, Engadine valley

Polychelidan lobsters are a group of decapod crustaceans which, in terms of both numbers of species and morphology, were more diverse during the Triassic and Jurassic than their modem representatives (Polychelidae). Here a new genus and species from the Lower Jurassic of Switzerland, Angusteryon oberlii, is described. The new taxon is characterised by a particularly narrow cephalothoracic shield, which is an unusual trait in comparison to all other polychelidan lobsters, both fossil and extant. It is tentatively assigned to the Coleiidae here. A. oberlii nov. gen., nov. sp. was recovered from hemipelagic sedimentary rocks, suggesting that it inhabited a deep-water setting. Although there is a possibility that the present specimens could be parautochthonous, the small size of the ocular incisions may indicate that A. oberlii nov. gen., nov. sp. had either reduced vision or was blind, which could be explained by its having inhabited a deep-water habitat. If our views on this mode of life and taxonomic assignment are correct, this would suggest convergent degeneration of vision between the new taxon and the Polychelidae. Furthermore, features of the newly collected specimen augment the apparent morphological diversity displayed by polychelidan lobsters early in their history, as well as document a more substantial decrease of such since the Triassic and Jurassic than previously recorded.

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