Trilobite Austerops sp.
Item number: Tri003
- Fossil: trilobite, Austerops sp.
- Age: Lower to middle Devonian, Emsian-Eifelian, ca. 393 million years old
- Locality: Hamar Laghdad “Red Cliff”, Morocco
- Size: 3 cm measured over the body axis (matrix: 5 x 6,5 cm)
- Signed certificate of authenticity included
Description: This trilobite is a very nice and very well preserved phacopid from the world famous locality “Red Cliff” Hamar Laghdad near Erfoud, Morocco. This is most likely an undescribed species of the genus Austerops. The trilobite was prepared in about 9 hours of painstaking detail work from the limestone and presents itself harmoniously on natural matrix. Trilobites from this locality are not easy to prepare, because the shell is very delicate and the rock sticks strongly to the shell. Without the necessary care, ugly prep marks and abraded shell are inevitable. For this reason most of the trilobites offered for sale from this locality are more or less damaged. This piece was glued together from three parts at the beginning of the preparation (see photo of the find condition). Afterwards a detailed and gentle exposure under the microscope was done with the help of compressed air technique and fine blasting equipment. Apart from filling a gap between the sections (see photos), no restorations or reconstructions were made. Particularly noteworthy is the excellent detail preservation of the shell, especially the fine tuberculation and the eyes: the single lenses are wonderfully preserved and show impressively the typical greenish coloration.
As with all my fossils, this specimen is accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity.
The site: “Red Cliff” at Hamar Laghdad near Erfoud is world famous for its “Red Fauna”. Like the trilobites, the rock is reddish in color due to high concentrations of iron compounds. The shell of the trilobites is permeated by fine pores, through which the process of silification and thus coloration can take place. However, the eyes of the phacopids of this locality are sometimes clearly green colored. The unicellular lenses of the trilobites are made of calcite, have a high magnesium level and no pore channels. This beautiful coloration of the shell makes the “Red Fauna” a unique group of fossils, which clearly stand out among the common trilobites.
The site has been considered played out for several years, so no further finds are expected.
- CRONIER, C., OUDOT, M., KLUG, C., & DE BAETS, K. (2018): Trilobites from the Red Fauna (latest Emsian, Devonian) of Hamar Laghdad, Morocco and their biodiversity, in: Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen 290 (3), S. 241-276. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328307496_Trilobites_from_the_Red_Fauna_latest_Emsian_Devonian_of_Hamar_Laghdad_Morocco_and_their_biodiversity
- FREITAG, P. (2015): Blutrot und Giftgrün – ein außergewöhnliches Trilobitenpaar aus dem Devon Marokkos, in: DER STEINKERN, Heft 23, S. 46-51. Link zum Heft: https://www.steinkern.de/inhaltsangaben/1127-heft-23.html
- KLUG, C., SCHULZ, H., & DE BAETS, K. (2009): Red Devonian trilobites with green eyes from Morocco and the silicification of the trilobite exoskeleton, in: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 54 (1), S. 117-123. – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232318126_Red_Devonian_Trilobites_with_Green_Eyes_from_Morocco_and_the_Silicification_of_the_Trilobite_Exoskeleton