Selenopeltis Trilobite from Morocco
Trilobites, an early arthropod relative of spiders, horseshoe crabs, and scorpions, preserved in this level of detail only occurred as a result of very sudden underwater landslides called turbidite sequences, which ravaged the early earth when the continents were still very much on the move. The contorted body positions of the trilobites demonstrate a final fight against being buried alive.
This is an extremely ornamented member of the trilobites' extremely well-known and globally distributed Lichid family. These trilobites have adapted for extreme defensiveness. Their long genal appendages afford them controlled escape from the water column, and they used them to sink to the ocean floor mimicking falling organic debris to escape predators. The stalked eyes, which evolved several separate times in the trilobite lineage, afforded greater lookout ability through they still maintain their compound lenses.
Age: Ordovician Period 480-450 million years old
Location: Djbel Ougrat, Morocco
Size: 22 x 1.5 x 18 inches
Weight: 38.4 lbs