Glyphea – a ‘Lazarus’ shrimp

(gly-fee-a)

Fossil of Glyphea veltheimi.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria

Jurassic

HOW BIG IT WAS

Glyphea relative size depiction as described below
Glyphea was about 5 cm long.

Glyphea was a decapod – the large group of crustaceans that includes crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp. Fossils of Glyphea and their relatives tell an interesting story; this particular group of decapods was known only from fossils like this one until the 1970s, when it was discovered that close relatives of Glyphea were still living in the ocean near the Philippines.

On rare occasions, animals previously known only from fossils have been ‘rediscovered’ as living animals. These are nicknamed ‘Lazarus’ animals; creatures that appear to have ‘risen from the dead’, although they had clearly been alive all along, just difficult for humans to find!

WHERE IT WAS FOUND

map of glyphea

This fossil of Glyphea veltheimi was discovered in Germany.

RELATED OBJECTS

Other objects from the Jurassic

ArchaeopteryxBelemnites
Photograph of a yellow plastic Tyranasaurus Rex