Jump to content

Pennsylvanian Arachnid Donated to Illinois State Museum


Recommended Posts

This was found partially split while I was hiking this summer on state land in Vermilion County, Illinois, and donated in September to the Illinois State Museum. The nodule likely came from the Pennsylvanian-age Energy Shale. Dr. Chris Widga was my contact person at the ISM, and an ISGS scientist present when I donated it comfirmed it as an arachnid, but said further identification would require closer study.

I did subsequently do some more independent research into the arachnids found in Mazon Creek and similar deposits, and my amateur inclination is that this specimen is a member of the order Ricinulei, possibly Curculioides sp. Unfortunately, the Museum remains closed to the public due to the continued lack of a budget in Illinois, but I'm hoping to make a visit next year when it should be open again.

This was a crazy lucky find, considering the data from the similar Mazon Creek Braidwood biota in Richardson's Guide to the Fossil Fauna of Mazon Creek suggests arachnids are only found in roughly one of every 14,000 nodules. I'm just glad I had my eyes on the ground that day!

post-17917-0-69818500-1450650446_thumb.jpg

post-17917-0-75552600-1450650456_thumb.jpg

  • I found this Informative 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a wonderful, breath-taking fossil!

If you would like to post it to the Partner Gallery topic (LINK guidelines therein), I would be delighted to award some bling for your profile :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Incredible find! :wub:

Well done on the donation, as well.

Regards,

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is really great! Is there no one at all working in the museum? Even if it's not open to the public, I could imagine that they would let you in on account of your interest for your donation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The scientific staff and unionized employees are still working, so I could ask about visiting, although it would have to wait until after the holiday season anyway now.

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Spectacular find!

Thanks for your donation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 5 years later...
deutscheben

I am so utterly delighted to be able to report that this specimen has been published in the Journal of Paleontology by Niall Whalen and Paul Selden. It was confirmed to be a ricinuleid, and the largest one ever recorded, and even more incredibly, a new species: Curculioides bohemondi. 
 

A new, giant ricinuleid (Arachnida, Ricinulei), from the Pennsylvanian of Illinois, and the identification of a new, ontogenetically stable, diagnostic character


I had emailed Dr. Selden in 2017 to confirm my tentative ID of the specimen, and he subsequently loaned it from the Illinois State Museum for study. Having a fossil I discovered be published as a new species is something I have long aspired to and I can still hardly believe it has come to pass. 

  • I found this Informative 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations!

Link to post
Share on other sites

A HUGE congratulations, Ben - what an achievement!!!!!!!!!! :yay-smiley-1:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very very cool!

 

:yay-smiley-1:

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

Link to post
Share on other sites
RCFossils

Congratulations!

That is a rare find.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious why they didn't name it in your honor?  Congrats on the Amazing Arachnid!  spider-smiley.gif?1292867679   spidy-smiley-face.gif?1302011427   spider-smiley.gif?1292867679

 

PDF LINK

 

 

 

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Tidgy's Dad

Congrats.gif.b06642db4657fb5eaa2b324aeb3246d6.gif

What a wonderful find and result! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
FossilNerd

 

13 hours ago, deutscheben said:

Having a fossil I discovered be published as a new species is something I have long aspired to and I can still hardly believe it has come to pass. 

A noble quest indeed! One that many of us aspire to but never achieve. Congratulations!  
:yay-smiley-1:

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

12 hours ago, piranha said:

I'm curious why they didn't name it in your honor?

Indeed. I didn't quite get the idea of naming it after some crusader king who has no relation to arachnids or Illinois or biology whatsoever

Link to post
Share on other sites
deutscheben

Thank you @JohnJ, @Monica, @Al Dente,  @Troodon, @digit, @RCFossils, @piranha, @Tidgy's Dad, @FossilDAWG, @FossilNerd and @RuMert!
 

As far as the name goes, I wasn’t sure about the etiquette and didn’t want to be presumptuous by asking for it. After all, the authors did the intensive work needed to determine it was a new species. I’ll just keep hunting for more new fossils and perhaps somewhere down the line one will bear my name. Being a part of the scientific process is honestly the best reward.

  • I found this Informative 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...