GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 39-19
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


MCKENZIE, Scott C., Department of Geology, Mercyhurst University, 501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546, LANGHEINRICH, R. Allan, Lang's Fossils, Ilion and STOKES, Jacob R., Department of Geology, Mercyhurst University, 501 East 38th St., Erie, PA 16546

In the mid 1990’s, Lang’s Quarry in the Silurian Bertie Group of Herkimer County, New York produced a gigantic eurypterid sex organ measuring 15.25 X 10 inches. This fossil, thought to be from a giant sea scorpion is entirely preserved. Previous record sex organ fossils were only partial; supports (bacula) from walrus ancestors or dinosaur organs which are to this day hypothetical and not preserved. Other fossil “sex organs” included deer antlers and similar structures which are not directly sex organs. Frozen Pleistocene mammoths are not fossilized in the usual sense.

This fossil is from one of the largest arthropods of all time and is the largest fossilized sex organ known among invertebrates or vertebrates. We will discuss the taphonomy and implications of this unusual fossil.