Pyritized Eldredgeops Trilobite
with Preserved Appendage
Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae
Time: Middle Devonian
mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 25 mm (curve measure); Matrix: 90 mm by
Windom Shale, Hamilton Group, Moscow Formation, Erie County, New York
Here is a remarkable example of preservation: a totally pyritized
Eldredgeops rana trilobite. Its rich golden color has led me
to coin the term Midas Touch when referring to these specimens.
This is a recent find, and one that I do not believe has ever
been offered before. Pyrite is typically prone to the oxidative
degradation termed “pyrite disease”. Examples of
these have been subjected to forcing conditions with no ill effects.
Nevertheless as a precaution they have been given a coating of
an achival quality material which is employed in the conservation
of ancient artifacts. While all found to date are somewhat small,
they make up for lack of size in tremendous eye appeal. This
one is preserved enrolled in right lateral view. What is most
unusual about this one is the appendage sticking out from the
space between the cephalon and the pygidium. Before now only
the Beecher Bed and the recently discovered analogous layers
of Triarthrus eatoni were the only site to show such preservation.
To my knowledge examples with such preservation have not been
trilobite pictures to enlarge