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RARE MOUTH ANATOMY UNDERSIDE IS INTACT AND HAS BEEN FULLY EXPOSED

PHOTOS ABOVE AND BELOW SHOW THE DELICATE TAIL PERIMETER AND ALL PLEURAL SPINES COMPLETELY EXPOSED FROM ROCK

AMAZING LARGE FLOATING DROTOPS TRILOBITE COMPLETELY EXPOSED FREE FROM MATRIX WITH EXPOSED MOUTH PARTS

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

DEVONIAN PERIOD:  395 - 345 million years ago

Quite substantial in size, the large DROTOPS trilobite is a fantastic display fossil!  Previously labeled as Phacops africanus, the current scientific name is Drotops megalomanicus.  Since most trilobites are less than a couple of inches in length, these are monsters and perfect for show.  These are the largest genuine Devonian trilobites in the world that have this kind of high relief and fascinating detail as seen in the photos above. 

This is one of the most amazing examples of trilobite lab preparation mastery and certainly the finest and rarest specimen of DROTOPS MEGALOMANICUS we have ever seen or offered!  It is THE Drotops of all Drotops and will most definitely be amongst the most talked about specimens of any collection!!!  The very large example has been completely cleaned of matrix with a reduced portion remaining underside and the entire trilobite floating on a pillar of its original limestone matrix in which it was found.  The entire perimeter of the Drotops has been fully exposed and ALL pleural spines are free from matrix.  The hypostoma mouth part is intact and also fully exposed, visible underneath the head.  This would be a perfect trilobite to display on a mirror so that the viewer can appreciate the extreme number of hours and masterful prep skill that was invested in this SUPREME Drotops to the UNDERSIDE as well as the upper outer regions.  Overall anatomical and surface detail is excellent including lens detail visible on both eyes. 

Because genuine CHOICE GRADE Drotops megalomanicus trilobites like this are rare, fakes populate the marketplace.  Like all our specimens, we guarantee the authenticity of this spectacular specimen offered here.  Similar to all trilobites found in the world, the only way these are located is to break the trilobite-bearing rock therefore, repair and some restoration to the break is unavoidable.  

 


Trilobites are hard-shelled, segmented creatures that lived hundreds of millions of years ago in the Earth's ancient seas.  They are considered to be one of our planet's earliest complex life-forms and are one of the key signature creatures of the Paleozoic Era.  Trilobites went extinct before dinosaurs even existed. 

Next to dinosaur fossils, trilobites command a dedicated and passionate following amongst both scientists and fossil collectors, alike.  In a relatively short time-frame (scientifically speaking, of course), we have the emergence and subsequent extinction of these fascinating creatures.  Still most baffling is the incredible diversity of sizes and features that made up the trilobite group.  Many bizarre species co-existed with highly specialized body parts that defy the theories of evolution in their "sudden" emergence and diversity during the Early Cambrian Period in what is known as the 'Cambrian Explosion'.  

Trilobites were among the world's first arthropods, a phylum of hard-shelled creatures with multiple body segments and jointed legs (although the legs, antennae and other finer structures of trilobites only very rarely are  preserved).  They constitute an extinct class of arthropods, Trilobita, that is comprised of over 15,000 known species.

It has been reported that every year, four to five new species are discovered in the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountain regions in Morocco, alone!   This desolate northern fringe of the Sahara Desert was once covered by a prehistoric ocean and its fossil deposits can be considered the world's richest and most diverse source of these ancient sea creatures.

Trilobites are the single most diverse group of extinct organisms that ever existed, period!  The smallest known trilobite is just three millimeters long, while the largest type grew to a length of 70 centimeters (over two feet long!).  The most common fossil of trilobites is the mineralized dorsal exoskeleton of the creature.  This is found in partial form from molting (shedding the shell as it grows) or in complete form when the animal was buried and died intact.  The soft parts of the underside are rarely preserved.  The name 'TRILOBITE' means 'three lobed" and is derived from the fact these animals had bodies featuring three longitudinal lobes, not lateral (head, body, tail) as is often thought.  The lateral division of three parts is shared by many arthropods, not just trilobites.

Considerable study has been done on trilobites as a whole organism.  Even more fascinating though, is the research done on a microscopic level with regards to trilobite morphology.    Radiographs have captured incredible detail of complete and fully articulated antennae and underparts like legs and gills, preserved in the host rock of some fossilized specimens.  Perhaps the most impressive and classic feature of trilobites that comes to mind is the eyes.  Microscopic studies of trilobite eye structures have also revealed marvelous adaptation and very high degrees of specialization in vision.  

It seems that the more we learn about trilobites, the unfolding of their mystery is stranger than fiction.  Certainly we gain a greater appreciation with each new discovery of these strange and highly advanced but now extinct 'butterflies of the ancient seas'.

THE MOST EXTREME PREPARATION PROJECT WE HAVE SEEN PERFORMED ON THIS TYPE! - ALL MOUTH PARTS EXPOSED

PURE VISUAL PLEASURE EMANATES FROM THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND PREHISTORIC GEM FOSSIL - A MUST FOR EXHIBITION!!!

Trilobite is 5.5" long

SOLD     TR10-017     Actual Item - One Only

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE DROTOPS TRILOBITES FOR SALE

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