Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences

Research Article

Eurypterids from the Viséan of East Kirkton, West Lothian, Scotland

Volcanism and ealrly terrestrial biotas, Royal Society of Edinburgh, National Museums of Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Livingston Development Corporation and West Lothian District Council.

Andrew J. Jerama1 and Paul A. Seldena2

a1 Geology Department, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB, N. Ireland, U.K.

a2 Department of Geology, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, U.K.

ABSTRACT

The hibbertopteroid eurypterid genera Hibbertopterus, Dunsopterus, and Cyrtoctenus occur in the East Kirkton Limestone of Bathgate, West Lothian. Most specimens are fragmentary and appear to have been washed into the depositional area with plant debris and tuffaceous sediment. Nearly all of the identifiable material can be attributed to Hibbertopterus scouleri (Hibbert), but two isolated Cyrtoctenus combs, and a femur comparable with Dunsopterus have also been recognised.

New material of Hibbertopterus scouleri (Hibbert) reveals that the posterior legs and telson resemble those of the cyrtoctenids more closely than was previously thought. It is possible that Hibbertopterus, Dunsopterus, and Cyrtoctenus are indistinguishable except by relatively minor characteristics, and that all of the material from East Kirkton Quarry might be derived from a single eurypterid species. However, associations of the diagnostic sclerites which would demonstrate that these taxa are either cogeneric or distinct have not yet been found.

KEY WORDS

  • Cuticle;
  • functional morphology;
  • appendages;
  • systematics;
  • feeding;
  • locomotion;
  • Palaeozoic;
  • Viséan;
  • East Kirkton;
  • Scotland