Trilobite - SOLD 2.82" Reedops Fossil
Trilobite - SOLD 2.82" Reedops Fossil
This specimen is a complete 2.82" trilobite fossil from the genus Reedops. It comes from Morocco and is dated to be around 380 million years old.
📸 A beautiful trilobite with detailed eyes and body structure
A complete and detailed fossil
Trilobites exemplify the diverse nature of prehistoric aquatic life. This class of arthropods formed a staggering amount of different species throughout the Cambrian period. Today, over 5,000 different genera of trilobites have been discovered and named, with more surely waiting to be discovered.
This specimen is a Devonian fossil, a period in which the trilobite class saw a decline. Many unique species and characteristics were wiped out in the Late Devonian extinction, with the few extant survivors appearing in the fossil record until the Permian.
The size and quality are fantastic. In some trilobite fossils, small eyes can even be seen!
Trilobites were a common sight on the ocean floor for millions of years. Their adaptability and varied lifestyles helped them survive across multiple environments and niches.
This particular fossil comes from Morocco and is dated to around 380 million years old. It is one of several large trilobite specimens we have currently available and each ships in a sturdy shipping container along with a certificate of authenticity.
Each trilobite fossil is a unique item and are sold individually by size. Smaller display case specimens are also available. You can find all of our current trilobites in the collection below.
Temporal Range: 521,000,000-251,000,000 years ago
MORE ABOUT TRILOBITES
"We are beginning to understand how a group of animals sometimes regarded as ‘primitive’ were actually sophisticated and varied. Had it not been for the Permian extinction event they might be with us still." ~ Richard Fortey, paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London.
📸 A sample trilobite fossil
A diverse class of creature
Oceans cover about three quarters of our planet, but much of them remain unexplored and unknown to us. It is here in this mysterious environment that life on Earth first began. Forms were simple at first, with plant life and multicellar organisms only just emerging in complexity.
Then, 540,000,000 years ago, the ocean was host to an incredible event that would change the course of evolution forever: the Cambrian Explosion. This massive acceleration of diverse life gave way to the swift radiation of new species and unique evolutionary traits. One creature that exemplified this principle of change so clearly was the trilobite.
📸 A selection of smaller trilobites
This class of arthropods formed a staggering amount of different species throughout the Cambrian period. While all species shared some common aspects, each would evolve unique adaptations that set them apart. Today, over 5,000 different genera of trilobites have been discovered and named, with more surely waiting to be discovered.
The common structure that all trilobites share is rather simple. They had a hard exoskeleton composed of three lobes: left, right, and center. Their bodies are also segmented into a cephalon (head), thorax (body), and pygidium (tail). From this base, trilobites evolved into a myriad of strange and unique forms. Some specimens have even been discovered with fossilized soft tissues such as legs, gills, and antennae, giving us a clearer picture of the trilobite’s form in life.
📸 Trilobites had many varied forms (Source: Smithsonian)
Despite certain commonalities, trilobite species were as varied as could be. Spiny exteriors were a common adaptation and were used by some species to ward off predators while others developed spines as a hunting tool. Compound eyes were found in many species, with some having enormous oculars giving them nearly 360-degree vision. Specialized exoskeleton articulation even allowed them to roll into a ball. Trilobites varied in size as well, from a mere tenth of an inch long to the massive 28-inch Isotelus rex.
Trilobites had an incredibly diverse amount of lifestyles to match their many variations in form. Fossils have been discovered in areas that would have been shallow basins of saltwater as well as the floors of ancient trenches. Ocean floor scavengers, predators, filter feeders, swarming schools, and even open water swimmers have all been suggested modes of survival of different groups. There is even evidence some species made short trips onto dry land.
Fordyce, David, and Thomas W. Cronin. “Trilobite Vision: a Comparison of Schizochroal and Holochroal Eyes with the Compound Eyes of Modern Arthropods.” Paleobiology 19.3 (1993): 288–303. Web.
Marshall, Charles R. “EXPLAINING THE CAMBRIAN ‘EXPLOSION’ OF ANIMALS.” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 34.1 (2006): 355–384. Web.
Riding, Robert, and Andrey Zhuravlev. The Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation. Ed. Robert Riding and Andrey Zhuravlev. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2000. Web.
Secher, Andy. Travels with Trilobites: Adventures in the Paleozoic. New York: Columbia University Press, 2022. Web.
Fortey, Richard A. “The Lifestyles of the Trilobites: These Denizens of the Paleozoic Era Seas Were Surprisingly Diverse.” American Scientist, vol. 92, no. 5, 2004, pp. 446–453.
Briggs, Derek E. G., et al. "Middle Cambrian Arthropods From Utah." Journal of Paleontology, vol. 82, no. 2, 2008, pp. 238-254.
Chatterton, Brian D. E., and Stacey Gibb. "Latest Early To Early Middle Devonian Trilobites From The Erbenochile Bed, Jbel Issoumour, Southeastern Morocco." Journal of Paleontology, vol. 84, no. 6, 2010, pp. 1188-1205.
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