Fossils “long arm lobsters” of the genus Mecochirus are among the most common representatives of Crustaceans from the lithographic limestone of Solnhofen. Nonetheless, the genus Mecochirus is one of the most spectacular and popular crabs from the late Jurassic of Eichstätt and Solnhofen. In the Solnhofen region, this fossil is widely known under the common name "Schnorrgackel". This would may transalte best to “purr cackler” maybe also Purring Roster. Actually the origin and meaning of this obscure nickname is today unknown.
Various taxa are known from the literature. First of all is there the most common Mecochirus longimanatus (SCHLOTHEIM, 1820). Second, a much rarer variant with proportionally shorter arms is described as Mecochirus brevimanus (MÜNSTER, 1839). GARASSINO & SCHWEIGERT (2006) put forward the assumption that the taxon Mecochirus brevimanus could be a variant of sexual dimorphism. It is therefore assumed that it is the male specimens of Mecochirus longimanatus. Another species is Mecochirus dubius (Munster, 1839) Garassino & Schweigert suspected a juvenile stage of Mecochirus longimanatus. However, the type material is not ideal and does not allow a reliable diagnosis. Mecochirus bajeri Germar, 1827, however, is generally regarded as a synonym for Mecochirus longimanatus. There are some specimens of Mecochirus from Solnhofen with very long arms. Therefore, Germar, 1827 took the point that those specimens were a separate species. However today this is placed in the range of variation of Mecochirus longimanatus. It is noteworthy that the Mecochirus from the Solnhofen limestone is one of the few fossils that can be found together with the track. In paleontology it is actually an exception if at the end of a fossil trace is the producer of it is actually found. Mecochirus is one of the most undervalued fossils from the Solnhofen limestone. In order to better promote the range of this interesting genus of crustaceans from the late Jurassic of Solnhofen, we dedicate a separate category ti it in our online shop for fossils.
GARASSINO, A. & SCHWEIGERT, G. (2006): The upper Jurassic Solnhofen decapod crustacaen fauna: review of the types from old descriptions(infraorder Astacidae, Talassinidea and Palinura). – Memorie della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia naturale in Milano, 34
Germar, E.F. 1827. Über die Versteinerungen von Solnhofen. Deutschland, geognostisch-geologisch dargestellt, mit Karten und Durchschnittszeichnungen, welche einen geognostischen Atlas bilden: eine Zeitschrift [1821-1832], 4:89-110, Plate 1.
MÜNSTER, G. v. (1839): Decapoda macroura. Abbildung und Beschreibung der fossilen langschwänzigen Krebse in den Kalkschiefern von Bayern - Beiträge zur Petrefaktenkunde. 2: 1-88
SCHLOTHEIM, E.F. (1820):DiePetrefactenkundeauf dem jetzigen Standpunkte durch die Beschreibung seiner Sammlung versteinerter und fossiler Überreste des Thier-und Pflanzenreichs der Vorwelt erläutert. Gotha: Becker