Eldregeops Phacopid Trilobite with Most Unusual Color Preservation

Cf Eldregeops (Phacops) rana

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae

Geological Time: Middle Cambrian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 22 mm long (if straight) by 14 mm wide Matrix: 20 mm by 20 mm by 50 mm high

Fossil Site: Hamilton Group, Ellicottville, Cattaraugus County, New York

Code: CPT03

Price: $225.00

Eldregeops TrilobiteDescription: This is a most unusual trilobite. Notice the pleasing café au lait color, and the regular darkened spots to the exoskeleton. These marking have been interpreted as the positions of internal muscle attachments. An alternative hypothesis is that the dark spots are actually preserved melanophores that could expand an contract, enabling the trilobite to change color as it moved about the seafloor surface much like the extant Plaice and Sole. Whatever the correct interpretation, these colors are of natural, rather than diagenic origin. The specimens were collected from a site on the border with Pennsylvania several decades ago, and to my knowledge specimens such as these have not been offered commercially until recently. This fine partially enrolled example is self-displayed on a matrix pedestal which has a flattened base.

For another example, see:
Thomas E. Whiteley et al, Trilobites of New York, Plate 103.
Reference: Paleontology Vol. 11, Part 4, 1968 pp 498-9

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