Gondwanaspis Dramatically-Spined Moroccan Trilobite
Order Lichida (Some list as Odontopleurida), Family Odontopleuridae
is 35 mm long by 35 mm wide (counting spines) on a 65 mm by 65 mm matrix
Mount Issoumour, Alnif , Morocco
Elegant example of an unusual trilobite which has recently become
available, and currently goes under the name Gondwanaspis, but
has also been renamed Taeasaspis. Whatever name you choose to
call it, it is a most unusual odontopleurid. Here again nomenclature
is in flux with members of the family Odonotopleuridae being
assigned to a new order Odontopleurida. I will stay with the
more conservative assignment to Lichida until the scientific
community makes up its mind. Whatever the name and order, this
taxon has the distinguishing feature of being the last odontopleurids
to go extinct during the Frasnian/Famenian Great Extinction Event,
leaving the Proetida and Phacopida as the sole surviving orders
going forward. The genus was somewhat cosmopolitan in its distribution,
having been found in France, Germany, Morocco, Siberia, and Australia.
This is the first example of this type of trilobite I have been
able to secure. Note that the cephalon has been prepared freestanding
to show off the many spines, making for a most dramatic display.
No collection of trilobites can be considered complete without
an example of this unusual taxon.