SHOWCASE Lateral Triarthrus Trilobite

with Soft Tissue Preservation

Triarthrus eatoni

Trilobites Order Ptychopariida, Family Olenidae

Geological Time: Late Ordovician

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 20 mm long with 8 mm antennae on an 80 mm by 80 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Lorraine Shale, Lewis County, New York

Code: PYT110

Price: Sold

Triarthrus Trilobite with Legs & Antenna PreservedDescription: With only about a half dozen localities known, trilobites with soft tissue preservation are rare. A well-known site in the United States is Beecher’s Trilobite bed where examples of Triarthrus, Cryptolithus, and Cornuproetus are known. In 2005 a new location in Lewis County was discovered which will take its place in this select group as a site containing Triarthrus eatoni with preserved appendages. These trilobites were buried rapidly, resulting in an anxonic environment which allowed for infilling with fine-grained pyritic deposits that preserved the details seen here. The rich gold color is a striking contrast to the deep black matrix, making for a dramatic specimen available in very limited quantities. This fine example is preserved in lateral mode. The darkened photo was taken with the sample immersed in toluene to heighten contrast. Such a specimen takes hours to prepare as a very fine grit must be used to preserve the delicate details as seen here. I am sure you will agree that the effort is well worth it. When you consider that some 98% of all specimens found fall in the 8 mm to 10 mm range this example is most uncommon. This is one of three I was able to obtain at this year’s Tucson fossil show. All three are unique examples of the exquisite preservation for which this site has become world famous. While all are impressive in their own right, this one had been in the personal collection of the quarry owner as he deemed it the best specimen he had found to date. It is a showy piece which has been cut with a flattened base to allow it to self-display in all its glory.

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