Paläontologische Zeitschrift

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 223–226 | Cite as

Note on the morphology and systematic position of Alkenopterus burglahrensis (Chelicerata: Eurypterida: Eurypterina) from the Lower Devonian of Germany

ShortCommunication

Abstract

The holotype of the eurypterid Alkenopterus burglahrensis from the Lower Devonian (Siegenian) of the Westerwald area (Rhineland-Palatinate, SW Germany) is re-examined. In contrast to a previous concept, this species has flattened distal podomeres seven and eight and a movable flattened spine on the seventh podomere of the sixth prosomal appendage (podomere VI-7a). Based on the presence of such a slender paddle, A. burglahrensis has to be regarded as a basal ‘swimming eurypterid’ (Eurypterina) and is formally transferred here to the family Onychopterellidae, extending the stratigraphical range of this family into the Lower Devonian.

Keywords

Eurypterids Onychopterellidae Alkenopterus Paddle Lower Devonian 

Kurzfassung

Der Holotypus der Eurypteridenart Alkenopterus burglahrensis aus dem Unterdevon (Siegenium) des Westerwaldes (Rheinland-Pfalz, SW-Deutschland) wurde neu untersucht. Im Gegensatz zu früheren Auffassungen zeigt diese Art verbreiterte, distale Segmente 7 und 8 in der sechsten prosomalen Extremität (VI) und einen ebenfalls verbreiterten, beweglichen, stachelartigen Fortsatz am siebten Segment dieses Beines (Podomer VI-7a). Solch ein schlankes Paddel kennzeichnet A. burglahrensis als basalen Angehörigen der „schwimmenden Eurypteriden“ (Eurypterina) und die Art wird hier formal der Familie Onychopterellidae zugeordnet. Damit wird die stratigrafische Reichweite dieser Familie bis in das Unterdevon ausgedehnt.

Schlüsselwörter

Eurypteriden Onychopterellidae Alkenopterus Paddel Unterdevon 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I thank Jason Dunlop (Berlin) for critical reading of an earlier version of this manuscript and for improving the English. I am also grateful to Carsten Brauckmann (Clauthal-Zellerfeld) and Michael B. Cuggy (Saskatchewan) for their reviews.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Direktion Landesarchäologie, Referat ErdgeschichteGeneraldirektion Kulturelles Erbe RLPMainzGermany

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