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20210137_0010
© Christian LEMZAOUDA / Sylvain CHARBONNIER / CR2P / MNHN / CNRS Photothèque

Prawn in the moonlight

Reference

20210137_0010

Production year

2018

Max. size

42.9 x 28.21 cm / 300 dpi

Caption

Rediscovered in the collections of the MNHN French national museum of natural history, this specimen of Aeger insignis comes from the Solnhofen Limestone, in Germany. This small crustacean lived in a lagoon in the Late Jurassic around 140 million years ago. At that time, what is now Europe was a vast archipelago with turquoise waters and a tropical climate. This prawn belonged to an extinct family whose main feature was that it had highly-developed jawfeet (also known as maxillipeds) endowed with long removable spines, which the animal could use as “rakes” to search for food in the sediment. Ultraviolet light reveals very fine anatomical details invisible in normal light (such as spines, grooves and pores), making it possible to correctly identify the species of fossil.

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