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. 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.
There are always a certain type and array of Solnhofen fossils out there on the market but one thing is for sure, this is one that you seldom, if ever see. This is an EXTREMELY RARE type of STOMATOPOD called a mantis shrimp, this one is from the genus Sculda. Sculda is known for its compact and broad body, fringed-edge body segments toward the back and short gills. The eyes are located up on stalks.
If you are trying to build a fantastic collection of specimens that are both diverse and rare, this is a must have addition because seldom are fossils of this crustacean offered from Solnhofen. This is a supreme example of this rare prehistoric species of mantis shrimp.
Stomatopods were truly alien-like creatures and can still be found alive today. They are known for their "otherwordly" arrays of color and anatomy. With eyes high up on eye stalks, these bizarre creatures have incredible eyesight. We spend trillions of dollars looking for life on other planets and yet, it's living creatures like this that just make you wonder why we do not dedicate more than mere pennies to study the "alien" life here on our own planet!
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.