Silurian carcinosomatid eurypterids from the Prague Basin (Czech Republic)


Authors: Budil P, Manda Š, Tetlie OE

Published in: Bulletin of Geosciences, volume 89, issue 2; pages: 257 - 267; Received 19 April 2013; Accepted in revised form 6 January 2014; Online 11 March 2014

Keywords: Eurypterida, Carcinosomatidae, Prague Basin, Wenlock, Přídolí,

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The eurypterid record from the Prague Basin includes occasional Ludlow faunas, but in the uppermost Silurian (Přídolí) eurypterids suddenly become common in relatively deep water facies. Pterygotids clearly dominate these late Silurian faunas, whereas carcinosomatids are represented by the single species Eusarcana acrocephala, known from only a few specimens. This species is revised and its validity is discussed herein. A new eurypterid fauna found in deep water shale facies is described from the lower and middle part of the Motol Formation, Wenlock, Sheinwoodian-Homerian, Cyrtograptus murchisoni to C. lundgreni graptolite biozones, at Praha-Lochkov. It consists of common fragments of the carcinosomatid eurypterid described here as Eusarcana? sp. A and rare possible pterygotid fragments. This is the earliest evidence of carcinosomatids outside Laurentia and one of the earliest records of the group worldwide. This early occurrence outside a hypothetical Laurentian evolutionary centre is discussed with respect to the palaeobiogeography of other faunas colonising peri-Gondwanan basins after the decline of widespread early Silurian anoxia. A previous suggestion that carcinosomatids (presumed basal members of the Carcinosomatoidea) had similar distribution patterns to pterygotoids is discussed. Eurypterids migrated into the peri-Gondwanan realm from the tropical zone, but the dispersion potential of carcinosomatids into the temperate and cool water realm was probably lower than that of pterygotids. In the Prague Basin, the carcinosomatid-dominated fauna of the Wenlock age was replaced in the late Silurian by a pterygotid-dominated fauna.


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