Paper No. 20
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
FIRST CT-SCAN RECONSTRUCTION OF GRAEOPHONUS, A LATE CARBONIFEROUS WHIP SPIDER (ARACHNIDA: AMBLYPYGI) FROM COSELEY, STAFFORDSHIRE, UK
Whip spiders (Order Amblypygi) are a relatively small group of living arachnids that have a fossil record extending back to scraps of cuticle from the middle Devonian. They are arachnids with a flattened body, ‘clasp-knife’ chelicerae, and a pair of long, antenniform anteriormost legs. Graeophonus, from the Middle Coal Measures of Coseley, Staffordshire, UK, represents the first articulated whip spider in the fossil record. Its preservation as a void within a siderite nodule allowed the specimen to be CT-scanned, digitally dissected from the rock, and reconstructed. Previously, our ability to examine fossil-bearing siderite nodules was limited by the way the nodule cracked to reveal the specimen. CT-scanning reveals fine details of anatomy that have never been previously observed.