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, 250 (4981), 658-61

Land Animals in the Silurian: Arachnids and Myriapods From Shropshire, England

Land Animals in the Silurian: Arachnids and Myriapods From Shropshire, England

A J Jeram et al. Science.


A new assemblage of arthropod cuticles from Upper Silurian rocks in Shropshire, England, includes at least two centipedes and a trigonotarbid arachnid. This unequivocal terrestrial fauna from the Silurian constitutes the earliest direct record of land animals. The presence of predatory arthropods suggests that complex terrestrial ecosystems were in place by the late Silurian (414 x 10(6) years before present) and that the animal invasion of the land occurred earlier than was previously thought.

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