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 trifurcatus TrilobiteArthropods (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 OVER EIGHTY freestanding spines. The diagnostic trident has been prepared freestanding as well, making for a dramatic piece unlikely to ever need upgrading. With the advent of a reliable source of electricity in Morocco, the quality of preparation has improved dramatically over the past few years. This one took a great deal of effort to prepare all the pleural spines free of matrix. While I used to refer to trilobites prepared in a mode similar to this as flying, I feel a new term is warranted by the preparation now coming into vogue. This specimen is truly stunning when viewed from any aspect, and is destined to become the cornerstone of any collection, public or private. (I apologize for the less-than-esthetic photography while still in the shipping container, but discretion was the better part of valor with all the spines). Here is another Walliserops trifurcatus prepared with the pleural and pygidial spines still protected by matrix.

click trilobite pictures to enlarge


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