Austerops smoothops Phacopid Trilobites
Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae
Time: Middle Devonian
mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 29 mm long by 15 mm wide and 33 mm long
(curve measure) on an 80 mm by 60 mm matrix
Colorful example of a member of the Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae
with many fine details present. It comes from a new location
known as Jorf in Morocco, close to the site from which the polished
goniatite ammonites originate. The preservation of the exoskeleton
takes its rich color from minerals in the water that perfused
it post deposition. This trilobite has had a tortuous trip through
the taxonomic jungle. First described as a member of the genus
Phacops, it was given the specific name of smoothops for the
lack of granulation at the base of the visual surface. A few
years later, the genus Phacops was sliced and diced into a number
of new genera with the establishment of Austerops and Barrandeops.
The matrix from Jorf is often harder than that from some other
sites, making preparation more difficult. I have included in
preparation photos to show this one is a natural double and not
Palaeontolographica Canadiana No 25,2006, pp 15-17.
Palaeontolographica Canadiana No 28,2009, pp 33-49.