Oldest fossil shrimp preserved with muscles

Nov 09, 2010
The fossil shrimp from Oklahoma and a recent shrimp. Credit: Rodney Feldmann/NOAA

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of America’s favorite seafood is shrimp. Did you know that they fossilize as well? Rodney Feldmann and Carrie Schweitzer (both Kent State University) report on the oldest fossil shrimp known to date. The creature in stone is as much as 360 million years old and was found in Oklahoma. Even the muscles of the fossil are preserved. The study will be published soon in Journal of Crustacean Biology.

“The oldest known prior to this discovery came from Madagascar,” Feldmann says. This one is way younger, having an age of ‘only’ 245 million years making the shrimp from Oklahoma 125 million years older. The fossil shrimp, having a length of about 3 inches, was found by fellow-paleontologist Royal Mapes (Ohio University) and his students. Feldmann and Schweitzer named the fossil after him: Aciculopoda mapesi.

The discovery is also one of the two oldest decapods (‘ten footed’) to which shrimp, crabs, and lobsters belong. The other decapod, Palaeopalaemon newberryi, is of similar age and was found in Ohio and Iowa. “The shrimp from Oklahoma might, thus, be the oldest decapod on earth,” Feldmann explains.

The fossil is a very important step in unraveling the evolution of decapods. However, more finds are necessary. “The common ancestor of the two species can probably be found in rocks that once formed the old continent Laurasia,” Schweitzer mentions. Nowadays, these rocks can be found primarily in North America and Greenland. Who’s going to find it? Possibly by one of the numerous amateur collectors, who often graciously donate specimens to science.

The fossilized muscles (left) were compared with muscles of a recent shrimp (right). Credit: Rodney Feldmann

The description of the is not only remarkable because of its age, but also due to its preservation. In this case, the muscles that once made up the tail part of the shrimp were preserved. This is extremely rare in fossils. Feldmann knows why the muscles are still visible: “When the animal died, it came to rest on the seafloor. The muscles then were preserved by a combination of acidic waters and a low oxygen content as the animal was buried rapidly.”

The shrimp lived in deeper waters of the ocean where currents were too weak to destroy the shrimp. Other animals that were found in the same rock include the extinct ammonites, nautiloids, brachiopods, and sponges.

Explore further: Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

Provided by Kent State University

4.7 /5 (10 votes)

Related Stories

Ancient shrimp monster not so fierce after all

Nov 04, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A Cambrian sea creature, Anomalocaris Canadensis, had long been thought to be a fearsome predator of trilobites, equipped as it was with barbed feelers and an armor-plated mouth, but new re ...

Tiny Shrimp Help to Fine-Tune National Defense

May 10, 2006

Research being conducted by UMaine researcher Peter Jumars of the Darling Marine Center and UMaine School of Marine Sciences has created an unlikely pairing between the U.S. Department of Defense and a tiny ocean-going creature ...

Scientist describes toothy microfossils

Oct 29, 2010

They had rows of sharp, interlocking conical teeth that, while not affixed to a jaw like we know, would rake prey into their mouths kind of like the creature in the movie "Alien."

Modern society made up of all types

Nov 04, 2010

Modern society has an intense interest in classifying people into ‘types’, according to a University of Melbourne Cultural Historian, leading to potentially catastrophic life-changing outcomes for those typed – ...

Recommended for you

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

Jul 29, 2014

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

Dinosaurs doing well before asteroid impact

Jul 29, 2014

A new analysis of fossils from the last years of the dinosaurs concludes that extra-terrestrial impact was likely the sole cause of extinction in most cases.

A word in your ear, but make it snappy

Jul 28, 2014

To most, crocodiles conjure images of sharp teeth, powerful jaws and ferocious, predatory displays – but they are certainly not famous for their hearing abilities. However, this could all change, as new ...

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mabarker
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 09, 2010
I love this article as much as I love shrimp. Everything about this article states that shrimp have always been shrimp (right down to the muscles!)- as stated by the creation model. Furthermore this creature was "buried rapidly" - such as a big flood?
jmcanoy1860
5 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2010
No, not such as a "big flood". The "shrimp" is found in strata dated at 370 million years. It is described as a "shrimp" for simplicity not in reality. Rock muscles DO NOT equate with fresh shrimp tail.
Viracocha
4.6 / 5 (9) Nov 09, 2010
I love this article as much as I love shrimp. Everything about this article states that shrimp have always been shrimp (right down to the muscles!)- as stated by the creation model. Furthermore this creature was "buried rapidly" - such as a big flood?


Mabarker,
If you're right about "creation", how can the shrimp be 360 million years old? Shouldn't it be a maximum of roughly 6,000 years old? Isn't the fact that it is considerably older than 6,000 years old evidence that the Biblical story of creation is nothing more than a myth? And finally, why is someone who entertains something as unscientific and, frankly, silly as creationism looking at this site in the first place?
Kikeros
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
I love this article as much as I love shrimp.


mabarker, God hates shrimp!
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Nov 10, 2010
Furthermore this creature was "buried rapidly" - such as a big flood?
Stupefying response there Ma. So bad I felt I had to make my first comment in months.

It WAS UNDER WATER ALREADY. Why do you even bother to read this stuff when you so clearly don't have a clue as to how things work?

By the way when was that Flood, in your expert Fundamentalist opinion? Not even going to bother asking for physical evidence, just the year that YOU think it happened in. Its fairly straightforward to figure out using the Bible.

I usually see two different ranges of time for the Flood. 4400 years ago or over 5000 years ago. The later NEVER has a Biblical justification. So basically I am curious if you go with the Biblically justifiable 4400 or the pull it out their ass 5000+.

Of course I am also curious if you know WHY they pull that 5000 plus date out of nowhere. I know why but I want to know if YOU do.

I won't hold my breath waiting for an answer.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
I love this article as much as I love shrimp. Everything about this article states that shrimp have always been shrimp (right down to the muscles!)- as stated by the creation model. Furthermore this creature was "buried rapidly" - such as a big flood?


As a response I recommend all subsequent viewers go to youtube and search for "Why do People Laugh at Creationists".
DamienS
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
I recommend all subsequent viewers go to youtube and search for "Why do People Laugh at Creationists".

Thanks for the laugh SH. Man, what a tool the douche in the creationist video is!
Ethelred
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
Mysty you know that One got you many more of them since there is nothing wrong with my post. Or at least you couldn't show anything wrong with it.

I don't care if you don't read them. But if you don't ream them, then don't score them. I don't give out ones without at least reading the post. Except when I am retaliating. Even then I still USUALLY read the post.

Ethelred