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A new genus of eurypterid (Chelicerata, Eurypterida) from the Upper Devonian salt deposits of Belarus

  • Dmitry P. Plax (a1), James C. Lamsdell (a2), Matthew B. Vrazo (a3) and Dmitry V. Barbikov (a4)

We describe a new stylonurid eurypterid from the evaporitic potassium-salt deposits of the Upper Devonian (Famennian) Soligorsk Formation in the Pripyat Trough of Belarus. All specimens are assigned to Soligorskopterus tchepeliensis new genus new species, which represents the first formally described eurypterid species from Belarus. The occurrence of well-preserved eurypterids in these unusual evaporite deposits is most likely due to transport from freshwater stream habitats into a hypersaline setting following death. Soligorskopterus tchepeliensis n. gen. n. sp. appears to be intermediate between the traditionally considered parastylonurids and stylonurids and thus extends our understanding of stylonurid evolution in the mid-Paleozoic. Soligorskopterus n. gen. extends the occurrence of Famennian eurypterids into eastern Laurussia and the Stylonuridae into the Upper Devonian, and this taxon could be part of a global eurypterid habitat shift that took place in the Late Devonian.


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