Spectacular Museum Dicranurus monstrosus Trilobite

Prepared in Freestanding Mode

Dicranurus monstrosus

Trilobites Order Lichida, Family Odontopleuridae

Geological Time: Middle Devonian

Size (25.4 mm = 1 inch): Trilobite is 80 mm long by 85 mm wide (with spines) on a 130 mm by 120 mm matrix

Fossil Site: Aatchana, Alnif , Morocco

Fossil Code: 12120

Price: Sold

DicranurusDescription: Here is one of the more sought after trilobites of the Order Lichida, Family Odontopleuridae known as Dicranurus monstrosus. This particular example is quite large at 80 mm in length from the dramatic cephalon to the wonderful pleural spines, and has a "wingspan" of 85 mm at the genal spines. Notice that the librigenae are tightly attached, a sign of a well-articulated specimen. It is found in the Devonian Laatchana Formation deposits near Alnif, Morocco. It is quite prone, and dominates its bed of matrix. To me, the most impressive features are the dramatically retorted occipital spines, looking like ram's horns. ALL spines have been prepared freestanding on the cephalon as well as those on pleural lobes, and also the pygidial spines making for a dramatic display. Note too that the hypostome which served as an anchor for the mouthparts has also been prepped out. With the advent of a reliable source of electricity in Morocco, the quality of preparation has improved dramatically over the past few years. This one took a great deal of effort to prepare all the pleural spines free of matrix. While I used to refer to trilobites prepared in a mode similar to this as flying, I feel a new term is Dicranurus monstrosus Trilobitewarranted by the preparation now coming into vogue. This specimen is truly stunning when viewed from any aspect, and is destined to become the cornerstone of any collection, public or private. (I apologize for the less-than-esthetic photography while still in the shipping container, but discretion was the better part of valor with all the spines). 

To what purpose could this spiny exoskeleton have been evolved? The answer is simple -- DEFENSE!! Fish had recently evolved jaws, and in the never ending arms race between predator and prey, Dicranurus' amswer was a spectacular defensive array of spines. A substantial amount of prep time goes into a dramatic specimen such as this, with a concomitant high end price. Nevertheless, it is still $100s less than some I have seen for sale for a truly world-class fossil. This is a fine example sure to become a prized member of any collection. See my other listing for a roughly contemporary species Dicranurus hamatus elegantus prepared by Bob Carroll, Oklahoma trilobite preparator nonpareil.

Trilobite Sales Information

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