Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Ah! Trilobites

Having spent some time searching for pterosaur teeth in my fossil collection, I came across some old friends that I have not seen for some time. I collected quite a few UK trilobites between 1976 and 1984, many of which are poor specimens and a few are excellent. Below is a cephalon (head shield) of a trilobite called Dalmanites myops from Dudley in Worcestershire. This is one of the famous "Dudley Bugs". It has very distinctive kidney shaped compound eyes and genial spines extending back from the edges of the cephalon. This species was probably very good at spotting predators and shuffling under the sediment on the sea floor. Nearby in the next draw of my cabinet was an ampixid trilobite called Cnemidopyge bisecta. I can remember having many a conversation about how to pronounce this name (nemidopyge with a silent C - Semidopyge with a silent N - or the tongue crunching CNemidopyge?) Make your own mind up - I prefer the silent C.

The Cnemidopyge specimen below was the first good specimen I owned. It was collected by Delyth Wilson from Anglesea. The cephalon has a long forward pointing spine which is characteristic of this type of trilobite

Later, I collected a more complete specimen of this Ordovician, Llandeilo age trilobite from Builth Wells in Wales. The three body axes can be clearly seen, though the central axis is displaced between the pleura (mid-body segments) and the pygidium (tail shield).

I do not have a photographic record of my trilobites, so I have decided to take pictures to record them in a more structured way. These pictures are my first trial with my new camera. They look OK for the Job.

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