8.5" Horseshoe Crab (Mesolimulus) Fossil - Solnhofen Limestone

This is a rare fossil horseshoe crab (Mesolimulus walchi) from the famous Solnhofen Lagerstätte in Germany. It's one of the largest we've come across at 8.5" in length, and has a prone preservation on a 17.8 x 14.5" slab of limestone. There are two repaired cracks through the specimen where the rock broke during collection. These spots of breakage required some gap fill and restoration to the fossil.

The specimen comes with a display stand or we can add a backing plate with wall mounting hardware upon request.

Mesolimulus is an extinct genus of arthropod. The best known examples are found in Solnhofen limestone near Solnhofen, Bavaria, Germany. Originally assigned to the living genus Limulus, they are related to and look virtually identical to the modern horseshoe crab. Other species assigned to Mesolimulus have been recorded from Spain, Siberia and (questionably) from Lebanon. Horseshoe crabs in general date to the Ordovician Period, more than 440 million years ago, and late Paleozoic Euproops fossils indicate that they have changed little over the last 300 million years.

The Solnhofen limestone is a famous Upper Jurassic Lagerstätte in Germany. It is where one of the most famous fossils of all time, Archaeopteryx, was found. The fine-grained limestone makes excellent building materials, which has led to heavy quarrying over the past two centuries, resulting in some spectacular fossils being unearthed including fossil dragonflies, fish, pterosaurs, shrimp, horseshoe crabs, etc.

This area represented an archipelago at the edge of a sea. Due to high salt content, the lowest levels in the water column could not support much life and were largely devoid of oxygen. This lack of oxygen and scavengers on the bottom of the sea led to beautiful fossil preservation.

Mesolimulus walchi
Eichstatt, Germany
Solnhofen Limestone
Horseshoe Crab: 8.5" long, Limestone: 17.8 x 14.5"
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