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CMNH 16394, Arthrophycus
Age: early Silurian (Telychian) Rock unit: Estill Shale
Locality: North of Irvine, Estill Co., KY
This 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. Traces can consist of anything from tracks and burrows to evidence for feeding.Arthrophycus was probably made by an arthropod, a phylum of animals characterized by exoskeletons, segmented bodies, and paired legs. Examples are millipedes, crabs, and insects. (Hannibal 1994, “Ichnofossils) Length of trace fossil: 4.2 cm.
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. Lethaia, Vol. 51, pp. 96-101, Fig. 3A, B, and C, p. 98.