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Temporal range: Silurian
Thylacares brandonensis S12862-014-0159-2-10.jpg
Thylacares brandonensis S12862-014-0159-2-1.jpg
T. brandonensis reconstruction (top) and assorted fossils (bottom)
Scientific classification
T. brandonensis
Binomial name
Thylacares brandonensis
Haug et. al., 2014

Thylacares is a genus of Thylacocephalan containing only the single species Thylacares brandonensis. Found in Silurian period strata from the Brandon Bridge Formation in Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S., the species is distinguishable from other Thylacocephalans by its smaller raptorial appendages and compound eyes. The body is fully encased in a bivalve shell, with only the eyes protruding on stalks. The species' trunk is composed of about 22 segments. [1]

Thylacocephala unique group of extinct arthropods

The Thylacocephala are a unique group of extinct arthropods, with possible crustacean affinities. As a class they have a short research history, having been erected in the early 1980s. They typically possess a large, laterally flattened carapace that encompasses the entire body. The compound eyes tend to be large and bulbous, and occupy a frontal notch on the carapace. They possess three pairs of large raptorial limbs, and the abdomen bears a battery of small swimming limbs. The earliest thylacocephalan fossil is thought to date from the lower Cambrian, while the class has a definite presence in Lower Silurian marine communities. As a group, the Thylacocephala survived to the Upper Cretaceous. Beyond this, there remains much uncertainty concerning fundamental aspects of the thylacocephalan anatomy, mode of life, and relationship to the Crustacea, with whom they have always been cautiously aligned.

The Silurian is a geologic period and system spanning 24.6 million years from the end of the Ordovician Period, at 443.8 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Devonian Period, 419.2 Mya. The Silurian is the shortest period of the Paleozoic Era. As with other geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period's start and end are well identified, but the exact dates are uncertain by several million years. The base of the Silurian is set at a series of major Ordovician–Silurian extinction events when up to 60% of marine genera were wiped out.

The Brandon Bridge Formation is a geologic formation in Wisconsin. It preserves fossils dating back to the Silurian period.

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Silurian (<i>Doctor Who</i>) fictional alien race

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Eurypterid Order of arthropods (fossil)

Eurypterids, often informally called sea scorpions, are a group of extinct arthropods that form the order Eurypterida. The earliest known eurypterids date to the Darriwilian stage of the Ordovician period 467.3 million years ago. The group is likely to have appeared first either during the Early Ordovician or Late Cambrian period. With approximately 250 species, the Eurypterida is the most diverse Paleozoic chelicerate order. Following their appearance during the Ordovician, eurypterids became major components of marine faunas during the Silurian, from which the majority of eurypterid species have been described. The Silurian genus Eurypterus accounts for more than 90% of all known eurypterid specimens. Though the group continued to diversify during the subsequent Devonian period, the eurypterids were heavily affected by the Late Devonian extinction event. They declined in numbers and diversity until becoming extinct during the Permian–Triassic extinction event 251.9 million years ago.

<i>Eurypterus</i> genus of eurypterid

Eurypterus is an extinct genus of eurypterid, a group of organisms commonly called "sea scorpions". The genus lived during the Silurian period, from around 432 to 418 million years ago. Eurypterus is by far the most well-studied and well-known eurypterid and its fossil specimens probably represent more than 90% of all known eurypterid specimens.

<i>Pterygotus</i> genus of arthropods (fossil)

Pterygotus is a genus of giant predatory eurypterid, a group of extinct aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Pterygotus have been discovered in deposits ranging in age from Late Silurian to Early Devonian, and have been referred to several different species. Fossils have been recovered from four continents; Australia, Europe, North America and South America, which indicates that Pterygotus might have had a nearly cosmopolitan (worldwide) distribution. The type species, P. anglicus, was described by Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz in 1839. Agassiz mistakenly believed the remains were of a giant fish, with the name Pterygotus translating to "winged fish". He would only realize the mistake five years later in 1844.

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In the geological timescale, the Llandovery epoch occurred at the beginning of the Silurian period. The Llandoverian epoch follows the massive Ordovician-Silurian extinction events, which led to a large decrease in biodiversity and an opening up of ecosystems.

<i>Slimonia</i> genus of Eurypterid

Slimonia is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Slimonia have been discovered in deposits of Silurian age in South America and Europe. Classified as part of the family Slimonidae alongside the related Salteropterus, the genus contains three valid species, S. acuminata from Lesmahagow, Scotland, S. boliviana from Cochabamba, Bolivia and S. dubia from the Pentland Hills of Scotland and one dubious species, S. stylops, from Herefordshire, England. The generic name is derived from and honors Robert Slimon, a fossil collector and surgeon from Lesmahagow.

<i>Hughmilleria</i> Genus of extinct arthropods

Hughmilleria is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Hughmilleria have been discovered in deposits of the Silurian age in China and the United States. Classified as part of the basal family Hughmilleriidae, the genus contains three species, H. shawangunk from the eastern United States, H. socialis from Pittsford, New York, and H. wangi from Hunan, China. The genus is named in honor of the Scottish geologist Hugh Miller.


Acutiramus is a genus of giant predatory eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Acutiramus have been discovered in deposits of Late Silurian to Early Devonian age. Seven species have been described, five from North America and two from the Czech Republic. The generic name derives from Latin acuto and Latin ramus ("branch"), referring to the acute angle of the final tooth of the claws relative to the rest of the claw.


Drepanopterus is an extinct genus of eurypterid and the only member of the family Drepanopteridae within the Mycteropoidea superfamily. There are currently three species assigned to the genus. The genus has historically included more species, with nine species associated with the genus Drepanopterus, however five of these have since been proven to be synonyms of pre-existing species, assigned to their own genera, or found to be based on insubstantial fossil data. The holotype of one species proved to be a lithic clast.

<i>Nanahughmilleria</i> genus of arthropods (fossil)

Nanahughmilleria is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Nanahughmilleria have been discovered in deposits of Devonian and Silurian age in the United States, Norway, Russia, England and Scotland, and have been referred to several different species.

<i>Parastylonurus</i> genus of arthropods (fossil)

Parastylonurus is a genus of prehistoric eurypterid. It is classified within the Parastylonuridae family and contains three species, P. hendersoni and P. ornatus from the Silurian of Scotland and P. sigmoidalis from the Silurian of England.

<i>Erettopterus</i> genus of arthropods (fossil)

Erettopterus is a genus of large predatory eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Erettopterus have been discovered in deposits ranging from Early Silurian to the Early Devonian, and have been referred to several different species. Fossils have been recovered from two continents; Europe and North America. The genus name is composed by the Ancient Greek words ἐρέττω (eréttō), which means "rower", and πτερόν (pterón), which means "wing", and therefore, "rower wing".

<i>Parahughmilleria</i> genus of arthropods (fossil)

Parahughmilleria is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Parahughmilleria have been discovered in deposits of the Devonian and Silurian age in the United States, Canada, Russia, Germany, Luxembourg and Great Britain, and have been referred to several different species. The first fossils of Parahughmilleria, discovered in the Shawangunk Mountains in 1907, were initially assigned to Eurypterus. It would not be until 54 years later when Parahughmilleria would be described.


Megacheira is an extinct class of predatory arthropods that possessed a pair of short enlarged appendages. They strongly resemble early chelicerates. Most of them were found in marine environments throughout the world from the lower to middle Cambrian. The group might also contain one species described from the Silurian Herefordshire Lagerstätte of the United Kingdom, and one species known from the Early Devonian of Germany; however, the interpretation of these taxa as megacheirans was challenged by Struck et al. (2015). Megacheirans were important components of several faunas, including the Burgess, Wheeler and Maotianshan Shales Lagerstatten. Genera referred to the class include Leanchoilia, Alalcomenaeus, Oestokerkus, Yohoia, Fortiforceps, Jianfengia, Yawunik and Isoxys.

<i>Eusarcana</i> Extinct genus of sea scorpions

Eusarcana is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Fossils of Eusarcana have been discovered in deposits ranging in age from the Early Silurian to the Early Devonian. Classified as part of the family Carcinosomatidae, the genus contains three species, E. acrocephalus, E. obesus and E. scorpionis, from the Silurian-Devonian of Scotland, the Czech Republic and the United States respectively.

<i>Eysyslopterus</i> Extinct genus of arthropods

Eysyslopterus is a genus of eurypterid, an extinct group of aquatic arthropods. Eysyslopterus is classified as part of the family Adelophthalmidae, the only clade within the derived ("advanced") Adelophthalmoidea superfamily of eurypterids. One fossil of the single and type species, E. patteni, has been discovered in deposits of the Late Silurian period in Saaremaa, Estonia. The genus is named after Eysysla, the Viking name for Saaremaa, and opterus, a traditional suffix for the eurypterid genera, meaning "wing". The species name honors William Patten, an American biologist and zoologist who discovered the only known fossil of Eysyslopterus.


  1. Haug, Carolin; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Mikulic, Donald G.; Kluessendorf, Joanne; Haug, Joachim T. (22 August 2014). "The implications of a Silurian and other thylacocephalan crustaceans for the functional morphology and systematic affinities of the group". BMC Evolutionary Biology . BioMed Central. 14 (159): 159. doi:10.1186/s12862-014-0159-2. PMC   4448278 . PMID   25927449 . Retrieved 25 August 2014.