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Ekalakia (Decapoda: Brachyura): the preservation of eyes links Cretaceous crabs to Jurassic ancestors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2015

Rodney M. Feldmann
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, <rfeldman@kent.edu>
Carrie E. Schweitzer
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, Kent State University Stark Campus, 6000 Frank Avenue NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720, <cschweit@kent.edu>
William R. Wahl
Affiliation:
Wyoming Dinosaur Center, 110 Carter Ranch Road, Thermopolis, Wyoming 82443, <wwahl2@aol.com>
Corresponding

Abstract

Description of a new species of crab, Ekalakia exophthalmops, brings to two the number of species within this Late Cretaceous genus from the upper mid-west in North America. Discovery of eyes and orbital structures in both species permits placement of the genus within the superfamily Glaessneropsoidea Patrulius, 1959 and family Glaessneropsidae Patrulius, 1959, extending the range of those taxa from the Late Jurassic into the Late Cretaceous. The extraordinarily large eyes relative to body size suggests that the Jurassic reef-dwelling crabs were adapted for a cryptic lifestyle which preadapted them for the deep-water, dysphotic, level-bottom habitat occupied by the Cretaceous descendants.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Paleontological Society 

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References

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