Rare Heliopeltis Trilobite

Heliopeltis johnsoni

Trilobites Order Corynexochida, Family Styginidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size (25.4mm=1 inch): Trilobite is 70 mm long, 65 mm across (with spines). Matrix: 95 mm by 110 mm.

Fossil Site: Quadrops Couche, Tazoulait Formation, Jebel Ofaten, Morocco

Fossil Code: 18121

Price: Sold

HeliopeltisDescription: A member of the Order Corynexochida, Family Styginidae from the Early/Middle Devonian deposits of Jebel Ofaten, Morocco, this is a member of Rare Heliopeltis Trilobitethe genus Heliopeltis. The dramatic occipital spines make this one easily distinguishable from other members of its family. Indeed it appears to be almost entirely composed of spines, quite a mouthful for any would-be predator. Once known as Andegavia, these trilobites are only rarely offered. I have seen less than a literal handful in 15 years, and all are in this contraflexed position. The authors of the paper that described these unusual trilobites speculate that they are molts or possibly pulled into this posture postmortem by muscular contraction. I personally think the latter view more likely. Notice the many fine eye facets on this specimen. I have included a couple of inprep photos so you can see what a task it is to free the many spines from the hard entombing matrix. For a more often seen but nonetheless dramatic relative see my other posting

Also see this Kolihapeltis rabatensis.

Reference: Papers in Paleontology, 20215, pp1-33.

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