Museum Walliserops hammi New Species Trilobite

Short Fork Trident Trilobite Prepared in Freestanding Mode

Walliserops hammi

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Family Acastidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size: 68 mm long

Fossil Site: Foum Ziguid, Morocco

Walliserops hammiDescription: This trilobite is a member of the Order Phacopida, Family Acastidae from the Devonian deposits of Foum Ziguid, Morocco known commercially as the Short Fork Trident Comura. The Chatterton and Brett had erected the genus Parabolops, with the long-forked trident being Parabolops neptunis and the short-forked Parabolops hammi (see my other examples for a fine long-forked example). Some think the differences may be the result of sexual dimorphism. Radical differencesWalliserops between the sexes are common in Arthropods (see some of the scarab beetles, for example). However, there are some half dozen known variants, so unless trilobites had a panoply of sexes the theory does not hold up to scrutiny. 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 short 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).

Reference: Palaeontograhica Canadiana, No 25, 2006, pp 33-36

Also see: Walliserops trifurcatus , long fork trident trilobite Moroccan Trilobites

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