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. This is a RARE, MONSTER-SIZE fossil of the giant extinct shrimp, Acanthochirana. The most minute detail you see above is 100% GENUINE AND NATURAL with no enhancement or painting of any kind!!!
Fine quality Solnhofen fossils are now much more rare than in past years. Many superb specimens come from old private collections as modern machinery destroys many fossils that were once easy to see and extract in the days of manual labor. Also, many quarries are now closed to commercial operations. This is a fantastic specimen with superb natural preservation. The carapace and appendages are well-mineralized. Fossil is on its original UNBROKEN slab of limestone and shows highly aesthetic color variations in the rock.
WARNING: Many crustacean fossils on lithographic limestone from both Germany and Lebanon ARE artificially enhanced in some way. This often occurs by painting on fine detail of appendages and antennae at the least all the way to painting an entire animal where one did not exist. A variety of sellers feature these heavily restored fossils being sold as '100% genuine' instead of being disclosed accurately. If you examine the images above and of the other crustacean fossils we offer in this section and compare the REAL detail of our specimens with what is shown in substantially lower-priced offers of some other dealers, you will easily see the difference if they post high-resolution images. Examples of some fake crustacean fossils can be seen here. The low price of one of these fossils with heavy restoration or of a pure fake is a FRACTION of what a real specimen. Quarry owners all over the world that produce these kinds of fossils are not stupid and all know the value of genuine, fine grade specimens and charge accordingly. The dramatic effect faking and enhancement has to the price of the fossil cannot be overstated.
This giant prehistoric shrimp is an extinct predatory marine crustacean and a member of the diverse group of arthropods called DECAPODA. Decapods comprise lobster, shrimp, prawns and crabs. The majority of Solnhofen crustaceans are decapods. This genus is noted for its short, smooth cylindrical carapace and toothed rostrum. The first pair of thoracic appendages short and articulated while the third pair are the longest. Each abdominal segment overlaps one another with a spindle-shaped tail spine. 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.