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Mangrove-dwelling crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura: Necrocarcinidae) associated with dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of Egypt

  • Carrie E. Schweitzer (a1), Kenneth J. Lacovara (a2), Joshua B. Smith (a3), Matthew C. Lamanna (a4), Mandela A. Lyon (a4) and Yousry Attia (a5)...

Abstract

Brachyuran decapods (crabs) are rarely preserved in coastal environments and have not been documented in close association with dinosaur fossils. A crab referable to the Necrocarcinidae Förster, 1968, is here described from the Cenomanian Bahariya Formation, Bahariya Oasis, Egypt. The occurrence of a crab in a mangrove setting in association with terrestrial vertebrates is extremely unusual in the fossil record. Review of decapod occurrences from the region has resulted in placement of Portunus sp. of Roger (1946) within the Raninidae de Haan, 1839, and Lophoraninella cretacea (Dames, 1886) into the Galatheoidea Samouelle, 1819. The crabs of the Bahariya Formation were probably scavengers, feeding on vegetation and other organic material and were possibly a food source for fish and other vertebrates and invertebrates in the environment.

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