Exceptional Cambrian Diplichnites Arthropod Trackway

Diplichnites sp. (Ichnofossil)

Geologic Time: Upper Cambrian (about 510 million years ago)

Size: 26 by 7 by about 1 inches

Fossil Site: Blueberry Hill, Krukowski Quarry, Elk Mound Group, near Mosinee, Wisconsin

Code: DD110

Price: Sold

Coming from the Cambrian-age Krukowski quarry in central Wisconsin, this ichnofossil called Diplichnites may well represent some of the earliest animal footprints on land. When these footprints were made, what is now Wisconsin was some 10 degrees below the equator, and paleontologists believe the site was once a beach of a shallow marine environment.

No shelly animals are found in the Krukowski quarry, only trackways (Ichnofossils) and body impressions (such as in the case of the madusae jellyfish (Cnidarians). Besides a few mysterious trackways that cannot be named, one finds Diplichnites, Protichnites and Climactichnites. Together, this quarry tells a story just now being researched by paleontologists - hopefully, the result will be some shedding of more light on when and how life ventured from marine to land environment.

Popular conjecture is that Diplichnites is the trace of a arthropod, such as wandering Myriapoda, which brings to mind an ancient centipede (Chilopoda). If so, this specimen contains a myriad of Myriapoda footprints, mostly running lengthwise.

This specimen is among the best Diplichnites fossils that come from the quarry. The tracks, in epirelief are pronounced. Near the top in the picture, you will see that the animal made an abrupt change in direction. The major track runs the length of specimen, and a another set of tracks runs perpendicular to the major track. Also note the wide and deep shoreland sand ripples that are prototypical of many of the Krukowski quarry Ichnofossils plates.

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