Walliserops trifurcatus Trident Trilobite

Prepared in freestanding mode with more than 80 spines

Walliserops trifurcatus

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Family Acastidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size: Walliserops trilobite is 85 mm long (curve measure) by 30 mm wide (including spines)

Fossil Site: Foum Ziguid, Morocco

Walliserops trifurcatusDescription: This trilobite is a member of the Order Phacopida, Family Acastidae from the Devonian deposits of Jebel Issoumour, Morocco known commercially as the Trident Comura. The trilobite was named Walliserops trifurcatus by Pierre Morzadec. Chatterton and Brett had erected the genus Parabolops, with the long-forked trident being Parabolops neptunis and the short-forked Parabolops hammi (see a specimen of Walliserops hammi here). Some think the differences may be the result of sexual dimorphism. Radical differences between the sexes are common in Walliserops TrilobitesArthropods (see some of the scarab beetles, for example). Whatever you call it, this is a spectacular example. All spines have been prepared freestanding on the cephalon as well as those on the axial, and pleural lobes, as well as the pygidial spines making for a dramatic display with more than eighty freestanding spines. The diagnostic trident appendage has been prepared freestanding as well. All totally, more than 200 hours of preparation was required under a microscope. With the advent of a reliable source of electricity in Morocco, the quality of preparation has improved dramatically over the past few years. Here is another Walliserops trifurcatus prepared with the pleural and pygidial spines still protected by matrix. With its schizochroal crystal eyes, array of spines, and enigmatic trident, this Walliserops trilobites exemplifies the power of evolutionary adaptation.

Also see: Walliserops hammi, short fork trident trilobite Moroccan Trilobites

click trilobite pictures to enlarge

Walliserops trifurcatus Trilobite Evolution

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