Crayfish are rare in the fossil record and therefore it is important to investigate each occurrence in detail. The only known fossil crayfish from France, Astacus edwardsi Van Straelen, 1928, is known from a replica made by pouring plaster of Paris inside the holotype (subsequently destroyed), an external mould extracted from a travertine cavity from the Thanetian of Sézanne. An evaluation of the taxonomic name, A. edwardsi, is provided; A. edwardsi is considered valid in accordance with ICZN rulings. It possesses atypical features for all other astacid genera, thus Emplastron gen. nov. is erected. Emplastron edwardsi gen. et comb. nov. inhabited a warm climate with calm waters, abundant food sources, and an ample supply of calcium carbonate: so much so that it is surprising that it is the only recovered specimen. Despite apparent North American faunal and floral affinities in the vicinity, E. edwardsi is more closely related to European crayfishes than it is to American ones.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4