By Oli Usher, on 17 November 2014
This specimen, from UCL’s Geology Collections, shows a well-preserved fossilised crab. Its legs are largely intact and even the texture of its abdomen can be made out. The claws, however, are missing.
Crabs’ claws are one way to tell male and female specimens apart (males’ claws are generally larger). Interestingly, the shape of a crab’s underside also hints at its sex in most species.
(Any amateur or expert determinations of this crab’s sex are most welcome in the comments below.)
Crabs have existed since the Jurassic period, 145-200 million years ago.