Museum-Grade Cambrian Protichnites Ichnofossil


Trace Fossil (Ichnofossil) - Arthropod Trackway

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

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Matrix: 150 by 110 mm; see 12-inch ruler in picture for size perspective

Fossil Site: Krukowski Quarry, Elk Mound Group, Mount Simon Sandstone, near Mosinee, Wisconsin

Fossil Code: DD42

Price: Sold

ProtichnitesThis Protichnites comes from the Krukowski Quarry, believed to be an outlier of the Mount Simon Sandstone. This quarry is currently under study as perhaps containing Ichnofossils of the earliest animals to venture ashore during the Middle Cambrian. Among the different trackway fossils found in this quarry (including Diplichnites and Climactichnites), Protichnites is the rarest both in terms of dispersion and absolute numbers. The sandstone slab here lacks ripples, suggesting that the tracks were made on a sand flat well above the tide, rather than underwater. This, in turn, suggests that the animal which made Protichnites tracks could have been one of the Earth's first air-breathing animals.

Protichnites is a prevalent trackway fossil found worldwide, particularly in Ordovician strata. The ichnogenus was made by a multilegged creature with a tail (of which there are numerous possible perps) leaving both footprints and a tail drag mark. Most likely, protichnites were made by different animals of Paleozoic time. What creature made the possbly first footprints on land in the Krukowski quarry? Researchers currently are tending to favor the Euthycarcinoids or Aglaspids, which are both enigmatic taxons.

This particular specimen contains a very high density of both footprints and tail tracks in hyporelief, and is totally natural without any staining. Notice too, the circular tail tracks.

Also visit the Cambrian Shadows Theme Park.

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