volborthi, an Alien - Looking Russian Ordovician Trilobite
Time: Middle Ordovician
Size: mm (25.4mm=1
inch): 40 mm long by 31 mm wide on a 100 by 108 mm matrix.
Asery Horizon, Wolchow River Region, St Petersburg, Russia
Coming from the nearly half billion year old Middle Ordovician Asery
Level deposits of the Wolchow River region near Saint Petersburg,
Russia, this trilobite looks more like an alien spacecraft than
anything that once roamed the ancient seas. It is a Trinucleid (Order
Asaphida) previously known as Ampyx (now called Lochodomas) volborthi.
The trilobite itself is 40 mm long (measured in straight projection
from the tip of the upturned 17 mm long rostral spine to the end
of the pygidium) and 31 mm wide at the DRAMATIC genal spines. Very
few of these are collected and offered yearly.
could have been the purpose of the outlandish spines? One theory
is that they served to keep the trilobite at the surface of muddy
bottoms, much as snowshoes do. Another is that they served as stabilizers
as the trilobite swam in the water column.