A synthesis of the evolutionary history of erymoid lobsters (Crustacea, Decapoda, Erymoidea)


en Geodiversitas 44 (9) - Pages 265-289

Published on 03 March 2022

A synthesis of our current knowledge of erymoid lobsters is presented. The superfamily Erymoidea includes two families, Erymidae Van Straelen, 1925 and Enoploclytiidae Devillez, Charbonnier & Barriel, 2019, together encompassing 81 species within six genera. Our examination of the palaeobiodiversity of this group and its evolution has revealed some variations through the Mesozoic with three important peaks, at the boundaries of: 1) Lower-Middle Jurassic; 2) Middle-Upper Jurassic; and 3) Lower-Upper Cretaceous. Whereas the origin of the first peak remains poorly known, the two others coincide with major modifications of the environment: the development of the European Jurassic carbonate platforms and the development of the European Chalk Sea and the partial flooding of North America during the mid- and Late Cretaceous. In addition to a notable peak of diversity, the Cretaceous is an important time interval in the evolutionary history of erymoids because the Early Cretaceous represented a long period of relatively low diversity and during the Late Cretaceous a strong decline of erymoid faunas is observed in Europe. However, the erymoids had already attained a worldwide distribution during the Early Cretaceous with occurrences in all oceans of the time. The analysis of the palaeobiogeographic distribution of these lobsters suggests the presence of important migratory paths, which probably favoured their spread and faunal exchanges between different areas across the globe.


Mesozoic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, crustaceans, Lagerstätten, migration

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