Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Chelicerata
Class Merostomata
Order Eurypterida
Suborder Stylonurina
Family Hibbertopteridae
Genus Hibbertopterus
1st Species Hibbertopterus scouleri
2nd Species Hibbertopterus permianus
Other attributes
Time Range 330-250 mya
Location United Kingdom, Russia
Name Meaning Samuel Hibbert's wing
Physical Dimensions 1.6 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Hibbertopterus is a hibbertopterid eurypterid merostomate arthropod from the Mississippian-Early Triassic of the United Kingdom and Russia. It was officially named in 1959 by Erik Norman Kjellesvig-Waering. Alongside its semi-distant relative, Stylonurus, it was a unique eurypterid, as well as a very successful one, lasting for more than 2 periods.


Hibbertopterus looked more like a horseshoe crab than the generic eurypterid. It had a large, rounded cephalothorax, mid-sized eyes, a pair of arms bearing blades, 3 pairs of walking legs, and a mid-sized tail ending in a spear-like telson. Its body would have been covered in a hard, chitinous exoskeleton.


Hibbertopterus was a predator, feeding on small invertebrates by sifting through the seafloor and catching them with the blades on it arms. As well as this, it would sometimes settle for detritus suspended in the water.


Like Stylonurus, Hibbertopterus did not have a pair of paddles for swimming like older eurypterids did, relying on its legs for walking and its tail for swimming. Unlike most eurypterids, it only truly had 6 legs, and its tail was not that long compared to the tails of other eurypterids. In general, Hibbertopterus lived at the bottom of rivers, swamps, and freshwater lakes, ravaging carcasses and using its bladed arms to catch small invertebrates. A parallel trackway indicates that it was able to crawl out of the water and onto dry land, much like modern horseshoe crabs.

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