Trilobite Austerops sp.
Item number: Tri010
- Fossil: Trilobite, Austerops sp.
- Formation: Lower to Middle Devonian, Emsian-Eifelian, about 393 million years old
- Locality: Hamar Laghdad “Red Cliff”, Morocco
- Size: about 4,7 cm long if outstretched (Stone: 4,5 x 5,5 cm)
- signed certificate of authenticity included
Description: This trilobite is a very beautiful and well preserved phacopid from the world famous locality “Red Cliff” Hamar Laghdad near Erfoud, Morocco. Presumably it is a still undescribed species of the genus Austerops. The trilobite was prepared from the limestone in about 14 hours of painstaking detail work and presents itself harmoniously on a natural matrix. Trilobites from this site are not easy to prepare because the shell is very delicate and the rock adheres strongly to the shell. Without the necessary care, unsightly prep-marks and abraded shell are inevitable. For this reason, most of the trilobites offered for sale from this locality are more or less badly damaged. This piece was glued together from three parts at the beginning of the preparation (see photos before preparation). Afterwards, the trilobite was carefully uncovered under the microscope with the help of compressed air and fine blasting equipment. No restorations or reconstructions were carried out. Particularly noteworthy is the excellent preservation of the details of the shell, especially the fine tuberculations and the eyes: the single lenses are wonderfully preserved and show impressively the typical greenish colouring.
As with all my fossils, this specimen comes with a signed certificate of authenticity confirming the fossil’s 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