Two beautiful crabs on matrix
Little and Large, wonderfully preserved
A close up view of the larger crab
The superb,smaller crab
This is a beautifully preserved, double, Harpactocarcinus punctulatus crab, discovered in Vicenza Province, Italy.
They date from the Eocene Period, 55m to 33m years old.
The decapods, or ten footed crutaceans, are an order that includes crabs, crayfish, lobsters, prawns, and shrimps.
They have existed since the Permian Period, nearly 300 million years ago.
However, true, recognisable crabs, evolved around the Jurassic Period, some 150 million years ago.
Their general structure has changed little since then, and modern day crabs display the same proportions, and general ornamentation.
A specimen such as these Harpactocarcinus, with original carapace, pincers, and legs is extremely rare, as when crabs die, their shells normally fall apart and are dispersed or scavenged.
This is a wonderful display fossil, of museum quality, in extraordinary condition.