Spiny Monster Burmeisterella

Burmeisterella in its original state: the owner
had started preparation and unfortunately
destroyed or damaged some spines

Original state: the owner had
started preparation and
unfortunately destroyed or damaged
some spines

During preparation

During preparation

One by one the spines are removed and secured/restored

One by one the spines are
removed and secured/restored

The cephalon was found in typical Salter´s Embedding

The cephalon was found in typical
Salter´s Embedding

The final result

The final result

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This fossil is a Burmeisterella delattrei from the Lower Devonian of the Eifel. After the owner started preparation and  unfortunately damaged/destroyed some spines of the pygidium and pleurae, he send the piece to me for further preparation. At first it was not clear whether the cephalon was present or not. It luckily appeared during preparation in Salter’s embedding. So it is a typical exuvia.

Although the rock separates relatively easy from the fossil, the preparation is extremely challenging, as the spines are too fragile to be removed without the intensive use of superglue. They crumble even at the slightest touch. For this reason the spines were stabilized and had to be restored additionally to 0-30%. The spines damaged during the initial preparation were reconstructed to 40-100%. Apart from that only small cracks in the rock were filled with Glue. 

This specimen was chosen as the fossil of the month on the internet platform steinkern.de in September 2020.

Fossil: Burmeisterella delattrei PILLET & WATERLOT, 1983

Formation: Lower Devonian, Klerf-layers

Location: Western Eifel (Germany)

Length of the trilobite: 12cm (4.7 inches)

Cephalon width: 7cm (2.7 inches)

Workload: 45 hours

Collection: Ingo Kasperek