Eocryphops Phacopid Trilobite from Jorf with Few Eye Facets

Eocryphops sp

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 22 mm long by 11 mm wide on a 43 mm by 65 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Jorf, Morocco

Fossil Code: 12099

Price: Sold

EocryphopsDescription: This unusual trilobite comes from a new location known as Jorf in Morocco, close to the site from which the polished goniatie ammonites originate. The preservation of the exoskeleton is reminiscent of them in terms of texture, unlike many trilobites from Morocco. The first example I have seen was a month or so ago. 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 some 2-3 times as many facets as seen here. Either this one is an aberration or 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. With a surge in interest in specimens from Jorf we can only hope to see even more unusual material coming to light.

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

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Eocryphops Trilobite

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