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Arthrophycus 3D Model
Early Silurian (Telychian)
Locality: North of Irvine, Estill Co., KY
This specimen is an ichnofossil, or a fossil which exhibits indirect evidence of an organism. Unlike body fossils, ichnofossils do not provide the explicit morphological characteristics of an organism, such as exact size or number of limbs. These fossils are often called trace fossils, because they geologically preserve traces of organisms. These traces can consist of anything from tracks and burrows to evidence for feeding. This example is an Arthrophycus, meaning it is the trace fossil of an arthropod, a phylum of animals characterized by exoskeletons, segmented bodies, and paired legs. Some modern examples are millipedes, crabs, and butterflies. (Hannibal 1994, “Ichnofossils”)
Figured and cited in Thomka, J.R., Sullivan, N.B., and Brett, C.E. 2018. Arthrophycus as a mimic of crinoid column impressions in the lower Silurian of central Kentucky, USA. Fig. 3A, B, and C, p. 98 Lethaia, Vol. 51, pp. 96-101.