Moroccan Museum Trilobite
Spined NEW TYPE
Odontopleurida, Family Odontopleuridae
Time: Lower Devonian
is 40 mm long
Jebel Oufaten, 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, most 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. At first glance this one would be dismissed as an example
of the type known as Koneprusia brutoni were it not for the double
spines at the anterior, a feature to date only known in Koneprusia
dahmani which is best known from Foum Ziguid. That taxon has multiple
to the plural and pygidial spines. The example from Oufaten either
have them greatly reduced or missing entirely. I will go with Koneprusia
aff dahmani for the time being.
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