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A new polychelidan lobster preserved with its eggs in a 165 Ma nodule

  • Jauvion, Clément1, 2
  • Audo, Denis3, 4
  • Bernard, Sylvain2
  • Vannier, Jean5
  • Daley, Allison C.6
  • Charbonnier, Sylvain1
  • 1 Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Université, CNRS UMR 7207, CR2P, Centre de Recherche en Paléontologie - Paris, 8 rue Buffon, Paris, 75005, France , Paris (France)
  • 2 Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Sorbonne Université, CNRS UMR 7590, IRD, Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, IMPMC, Paris, France , Paris (France)
  • 3 Yunnan Key Laboratory for Palaeobiology, Yunnan University, Kunming, China , Kunming (China)
  • 4 MEC International Joint Laboratory for Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironment, Yunnan University, Kunming, China , Kunming (China)
  • 5 Univ Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ENS de Lyon, CNRS, UMR 5276 LGL-TPE, 2, rue Raphaël Dubois, Villeurbanne Cedex, 69622, France , Villeurbanne Cedex (France)
  • 6 Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Géopolis, Lausanne, CH-1015, Switzerland , Lausanne (Switzerland)
Published Article
Scientific Reports
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Feb 27, 2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-60282-1
Springer Nature


Crustacean eggs are rare in the fossil record. Here we report the exquisite preservation of a fossil polychelidan embedded within an unbroken nodule from the Middle Jurassic La Voulte-sur-Rhône Lagerstätte (France) and found with hundreds of eggs attached to the pleon. This specimen belongs to a new species, Palaeopolycheles nantosueltae sp. nov. and offers unique clues to discuss the evolution of brooding behaviour in polychelidan lobsters. In contrast to their development, which now relies on a long-lived planktic larval stage that probably did not exist in the early evolutionary steps of the group, the brood size of polychelidan lobsters seems to have remained unchanged and comparatively small since the Jurassic. This finding is at odds with reproductive strategies in other lobster groups, in which a long-lived planktic larval stage is associated with a large brood size.

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