Spectacularly Spined Koneprusia
Double Axial Spine Rows
Order Lichida, Family Odontopleuridae
Time: Lower Devonian, Emsian Stage
mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 30 mm long by 34 mm wide (including spines)
on a 70 mm by 80 mm matrix.
Hmar Lakhdad, Morocco
Elegant example of an unusual trilobite which as an Odontopleurid
has many fine relatives in Dicranurus, Leonaspis, and Ceratonurus.
This one has a plethora of spines, many of which have been painstakingly
prepared freestanding, making for a spectacular display piece.
To what purpose could such a spiny armament be put? The answer
DEFENSE cries out; with fish only recently (geologically speaking)
having developed true jaws, any advantage a prey species could
evolve would stand it in good stead in the eternal predator/prey
arms race. This one was the “Porcupine of the Devonian” with
long spines projecting in all directions. The spines are all natural.
Many of you may be aware that Moroccan preparators often remove
spines during the process of exposing the specimen to access portions
obstructed. They are subsequently reattached once the specimen
has been fully exposed. I have included a pair of in-preparation
photos so you can see the process. Since this type was first found
some 15 years ago I know of only THREE other examples of this unusual
Fossilien, 27 (4), 2010. pp 204-211.
my other offerings for Koneprusia
Cf dahmani, as well as a Koneprusia with
paired axial ring spines.
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