Trilobite Drotops megalomanicus

Name Trilobite Drotops megalomanicus
Scientific Name Drotops megalomanicus
Category Fossils
Origion Morocco

Historic Background of Trilobite

Based on the fossil evidenance, the class of Trilobita appeared sometime in the Cambrian period and flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before slowly declining to its extinction. The last of the trilobites disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian 250 million years ago.

The trilobite consisted of nine (or possibly ten) orders, over 150 families, about 5000 genera, and over 17,000 species. They are currently fallen under the Phylum Arthropoda. Most of them were simple, small marine creatures that crawled along the seafloor and filtered mud to obtain food.

The bodies of trilobites are divided into three parts: a cephalon that composed of the two preoral and first four postoral segements completely fused together; a flexible thorax composed of freely articulating segments, and a pygidium (tail) composed of the last few segments fused together with the telson (sometime in the form of tail).

Trilobite Parts

The length range from 1/25 inch to 28 inches) with a typical size range from 1 to 3 and half inches. The world’s largest trilobite, Isotelus rex, which was over two feet long.

Asides from the heavy armor on the top of their bodies, they were also covered with heavy exoskeleton. During the normal life span of a trilobite, it would had moulted off multiple fully mineralized exoskeleton behind.

Trilobite in the sea

Though some trilobites were blind, the class in general was the first animals to evolve true eyes about 543 million years ago. Their eyes were typically compound, with each lens being an elongated prism. Some had one lenses while others might have over thousand of lenses in a single eye. Some order evolved elaborated spiny forms to protect them from the predators. Some of them formed horns on their heads that were likely used for mating competition. They also had antennas that perhaps were used for taste and smell, though some of the trilobites were blind.

Trilobites were developed from larvae from hatched eggs.

Trilobite Fossils

Due to their hard exoskeleton and heavy armors, many of these fascinating creatures were well-preserved despite the time. Current day, nearly all fossil collectors have at least one or two of these fascinating creatures. They are founded around the world. Of course, the most splendid ones come from Morocco and Russia.

Trilobite with Periscope eyes

Due to the overflow of fossil collectors in the market, there is also a great influx of fake fossils sold. As nicely put by a very educational site, fake fossils are made within 1/2 an hours. Here are some really resourceful links to educate naive fossil collectors.

Physical Description

It is a specimen of Drotops megalomanicus from the order of Phacopida. It is from the lower Devonian period. It is found in Morocco. It has fairly large Schizonchroal eyes which were mounted on turret-like structures that gave the animal a near 360 degree field of view. It has the habit of rolling up into a ball to protect itself from the predators with its hard exoskeleton.

Frozen in time in its half-rolling stature, the creature is mostly free from matrix, and posed as if it were mounting on top of a rock and gazed around with its alien eyes through time. Most part of its schizonchroal eye lenses are nicely preserved along its beautiful shell down to its spinose tips of the fixigenea.