Eocryphops Phacopid Trilobites

from Jorf with Few Eye Facets

Eocryphops sp

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size: Trilobite are 20-23 mm long (curve measure) by 10-12 mm wide on a 65 mm by 60 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Jorf, Morocco

Fossil Code: 18210

Price: Sold

Description: This unusual trilobite comes from a new location known as Fezna in Morocco, close to the site from which the polished goniatite ammonites originate. The preservation of the exoskeleton is reminiscent of them in terms of texture, unlike many trilobites from Morocco. Note the mere handful of facets present in each eye. This one is a member of the genus Eocryphops. Those cited in the literature typically have substantially more facets than seen here, so this is most likely a species new to science. A reduction in eyes was a common occurrence in phacopids, particularly in the Devonian, with another genus being Plagiolaria. Another trilobite from the region is a blind Gerastos (see my other Trilobite offerings). What is it about the environment at Jorf that allowed some trilobites to reduce the eye facets or eliminate them altogether? While they are thought to lived in a deep-water environment, it was still one in the photic zone, and they are found in association with other trilobites with more conventional eye formats.

Reference: Paleontolgische Zetschrift 2005 Vol. 79/2, pp.227-239.

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