Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments

, Volume 90, Issue 2, pp 111–124 | Cite as

Eurypterid trackways from Early Devonian tidal facies of Alken an der Mosel (Rheinisches Schiefergebirge, Germany)

  • Markus PoschmannEmail author
  • Simon J. Braddy
Original paper


Arthropod trackways from the Early Devonian of Alken an der Mosel are described, assigned to the ichnospecies Palmichnium pottsae and attributed to medium-sized eurypterids known from the assemblage. Ichnological and sedimentological evidence suggests that several similarly sized animals simultaneously crawled towards, or away from, the shoreline traversing the lower intertidal zone, where conditions for trackway preservation were most favourable. Comparison with modern horseshoe crabs suggests that this synchronized behaviour may have been part of the reproductive cycle of eurypterids, supporting the previously formulated ‘mass-moult-mate’ hypothesis.


Eurypterid Intertidal ‘Mass-moult-mate’ hypothesis Palaeoecology Palmichnium Trace fossil 



We thank Dr. René Hoffmann (Bochum) for providing photographs of the P. culmicum-type specimens, Dr. Angela Ehling (BGR Berlin) and Prof. P. Martin Sander (Bonn) for access to material in their care and Thomas Schindler (Spabrücken), Dr. Michael Wuttke (Mainz) and Olaf Vogel (Frankfurt) for useful discussions. We are grateful to Dr. Markus Bertling (Münster) and Dr. Max Wisshak (Erlangen) for their constructive reviews of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg, Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Direktion Landesarchäologie, Referat ErdgeschichteGeneraldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-PfalzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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