Last month, Dr. Adiel Klompmaker (UA Museums’ Curator of Paleontology) and Dr. Cristina Robins (a UA Museums’ Research Associate) participated in the 8th Symposium on Fossil Decapod Crustaceans organized in Zaragoza, Spain. This international conference from June 19 – 25 right after a spell of extreme heat consisted of an icebreaker, two days filled with diverse research talks, and three field trip days.
Both Dr. Robins and Dr. Klompmaker presented on scientific research: Dr. Robins talked about multiple new taxa of Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Paleogene squat lobsters from Europe and North America, whereas Dr. Klompmaker presented on crustaceans found in methane seeps around the world, primarily Late Cretaceous decapods from South Dakota and Wyoming.
Subsequent field days visited Eocene and Cretaceous outcrops in north-eastern Spain. Dr. Klompmaker acted as an organizer for one of the field days. Multiple decapod crustacean fossils were found by all who participated, including ghost shrimps, squat lobsters, hermit crabs, glypheid lobsters, and true crabs.
One of the highlights was a visit on the last day to the abandoned Koskobilo quarry, where 100-million-year-old limestones representing a fossil coral reef are exposed. Dr. Klompmaker studied the decapod crustaceans of this quarry for an important part of his dissertation about a decade ago. Decapods were and still are very abundant and diverse here, to the point that this locality has been considered the world’s most diverse locality for Cretaceous decapods since 2013. As many as 39 decapod species including true crabs, hermit crabs, squat lobsters, and a palinurid lobster are known from here. However, more species from this quarry may possibly be discovered. This was suggested by visits to the fossil collections of the Museo Geológico del Seminario de Barcelona facilitated by Pedro Artal and the Dutch Oertijdmuseum facilitated by Dr. René Fraaije before and after the conference.
After seeing much new research and fossils in the field as well as reconnecting with colleagues in person after three long years, a wonderful conference came to an end on June 25. The next fossil decapod conference will be held in Denmark in 2025.
Klompmaker, A.A., J. Brezina, T. Nyborg, P.A. Kloess, Y. Ando, and N. Landman. 2022. The fossil record of crustaceans in methane seeps with a focus on decapods from the Western Interior Seaway, USA. 8th Symposium on Fossil Decapod Crustaceans. Abstracts Book – Field Guidebook. Palaeontological Publications 1: 66–67.
López-Horgue, M.A., A.A. Klompmaker, and R.H.B. Fraaije. 2022. Decapod crustacean diversity and habitats in the Upper Albian deposits of Navarre (Western Pyrenees, Spain): The Koskobilo quarry limestones and their coeval deposits. 8th Symposium on Fossil Decapod Crustaceans. Abstracts Book – Field Guidebook. Palaeontological Publications 1: 137–162.
Robins, C.M., A.A. Klompmaker, S.L. Jakobsen, and E. Sheldon. 2022. Expanding the fossil squat lobster record in North America and Europe. 8th Symposium on Fossil Decapod Crustaceans. Abstracts Book – Field Guidebook. Palaeontological Publications 1: 89.
PDF of abstract book and field guide