Famous for producing an astonishing diversity of rare and most intricately preserved fossils found anywhere in the world, the Solnhofen Lithographic Limestone Formation of southern Germany is legendary. In light of the quality of fossils that are found in the Solnhofen Formation, this is a RARE MONSTER-SIZE example of the extinct shrimp, Antrimpos sp..
Fine quality Solnhofen fossils are now so rare that most come from old private collections as this specimen did. This species of shrimp from the Jurassic, is mostly found in sizes around 2 inches in length. Lengths of four inches are not common but at EIGHT INCHES, this is an ENORMOUS example and this measurement is just of the body from the tail tip to the tip of the head - not the antennae which are nearly as long as the entire shrimp! The carapace on the tail is well-mineralized and fragmented on the thorax. Original fossil impressions for the legs and antennae are in the stone and have been artificially highlighted for better contrast of these natural fossil impressions.
Antrimpos is an extinct member of the diverse group of arthropods called DECAPODA. Decapods comprise lobster, shrimp, prawns and crabs. The majority of Solnhofen crustaceans are decapods. Of all Solnhofen decapod fossils, shrimp such as Aeger, are the most common and abundant. The Antrimpos shrimp is an extinct species of predatory marine crustacean. These marine creatures died out at the end of the Cretaceous Period.
Lobster, shrimp and prawns all possess an elongated, segmented body with a flexible carapace covering the thorax and head. Other basic traits are the presence of multiple pairs of limbs and a fan-like tail. Because of the lightness and loose articulation of a decapod's carapace, intact preservation of the entire creature is quite rare and the abundance of the animal in the fossil layers is most often represented by partial or poorly preserved specimens.
WARNING: Many crustacean fossils on lithographic limestone from both Germany and Lebanon ARE artificially enhanced in some way. This often occurs by painting artificial fine detail of appendages and antennae, but many are complete forgeries with no actual fossil present. A variety of sellers offer these fakes and heavily enhanced "fossils" as 100% genuine instead of being disclosed accurately. If you examine the images above, and compare the REAL detail of our specimens with substantially lower-priced offers of some other dealers, you will easily see the difference especially if they post high-resolution images. Examples of some fake crustacean fossils can be seen here. The low price of one of these fake fossils is a FRACTION of what a real specimen should sell for. Quarry owners that excavate these fossils are not stupid and all know the value of genuine, fine grade specimens. Those quarries and diggers charge accordingly. There is no comparison to a completely genuine fossil to a fake or mostly fake piece.