Bizzare Walliserops Museum Trilobite

An undescribed short fork variety

Walliserops sp

Often called the short fork Trident Comura

Trilobites Order Phacopida, Suborder Phacopina, Superfamily Acastoidea, Family Acastidae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size: Walliserops trilobite is 65 mm long

Fossil Site: Foum Ziguid, Zagora , Morocco

Walliserops TrilobiteDescription: This trilobite is a member of the Order Phacopida, Family Acastidae from the Devonian deposits of Ziguilma, Morocco known commercially as the Short Fork Trident Comura. The Chatterton and Brett had erected the genus Parabolops, with the long-forked trident being Parabolops neptunis and the short-forked Parabolops Walliserops Schizochroal Eyeshammi (see my other examples for a fine long-forked example), but the genus remains Waliiserops at present. Some think the differences may be the result of sexual dimorphism. Radical differences between the sexes are common in Arthropods (see some of the scarab beetles, for example). However, there are some half dozen known variants, so unless trilobites had a panoply of sexes the theory does not hold up to scrutiny. Whatever you call it, this is a spectacular example. It has similarities to Walliserops hammi in the fact that it possess a flattened , laterally-projecting occipital spine, but also shows features of Walliserops lindoei in the shape of the broadened “tines” on the fork, but lacks the tubular occipital spine of that species. There are several trident trilobites yet to be described and this one falls into that category. For now, I choose to simply refer to it as “Short Fork Trident”.

Reference: Palaeontograhica Canadiana, No 25, 2006, pp 33-36.

click trilobite pictures to enlarge

Walliserops Trilobite
Walliserops Museum Trilobite

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