Moroccan Trilobite: Declivolithus Titan
- Trilobites form one of the earliest known groups of arthropods.
- The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record are from the Early Cambrian period (521 million years ago).
- They were hard-shelled, segmented creatures that lived in Earth's ancient seas.
- They are considered to be one of our planet's earliest complex life-forms and are one of the essential signature creatures of the Paleozoic Era.
- Trilobites went extinct before dinosaurs ever existed.
- Trilobites were the first creatures with a skeleton (Exoskeleton), so they were easily fossilized.
- Their shell is divided lengthwise into three lobes (hence, the name TRILOBITE meaning three-lobed): a central axial lobe, and two symmetrical pleural lobes that flank the axis.
- cephalon (or head) with eyes, mouthparts, and sensory organs such as antennae.
- a middle region called the thorax with several overlapping segments(anywhere from 2 to 61)
- pygidium (or tail section) in which the segments
Species: Declivolithus titan.
Location: lower Katoua formation, Tafilalt, Morocco.
Age: late Ordovician @ 500 million years old,
An example of an unusual trilobite from the late Ordovician of Morocco. The distinctive ornamentation resembles a crown on the head shield displaying pitting or crenulations. Although the purpose of this ornamentation is, of course, unknown, thought is to have sensory adaptations or aid in the filter-feeding function. The natural orange color is due to the oxidation of iron pyrite in the soil.
Trilobites are a fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita They feature the following significant attributes:
Morphologically, the trilobite body divided into three major sections: