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New Miocene Crab Fossil Portunus pankowskiorum - California

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New Miocene Crab Fossil Portunus pankowskiorum - California

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Portunus pankowskiorum (Schweitzer & Feldmann, 2015)

Monterey Shale
Santa Barbara county, California, USA

Miocene Period (16-13 Million Years Old)

Crab : 2.57 x 1.49 inches
Matrix : 5.73 x 4.26 inches

1 inch = 2.54 cm

A very uncommon crab from the classic quarry locality written about in the 2015 publication, Antolini & Sons Quarry. This specimen came from a very old collection. The specimen is as it came to me, with a break across the top that was repaired long ago. Often times when these are found you need to excavate the remaining half from the split shale.


Discovered along California's central coast, these crabs are found in the abundant shale south of Monterey Bay, the Monterey Shale. In a very specific layer, dating to 16-13 million years ago, I discovered these portunus fossils preserved in incredible detail in the shale. Typical of a tropical coastal environment, these crabs are also found among the remains of fish, pine needles and cones, palm fronds, and other species of crabs.