North Africa, Anti-Atlas Mountains - Morocco, Ordovician period, ca. 485 to 443 million years ago. A natural double specimen of trilobite fossils. The size and beautiful color variances are truly mesmerizing. The color is an inviting mix of salmon reds and pinks mixed with splashes of crimson red, gold and brown. Asaphus is a genus of trilobites, that is known from the Lower and Middle Ordovician Period. Trilobites are a fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form one of the earliest known groups of arthropods. The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period (521 million years ago), and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before beginning a drawn-out decline to extinction when, during the Devonian, all trilobite orders except the Proetids died out. Trilobites disappeared in the mass extinction at the end of the Permian about 252 million years ago. Trilobites were among the most successful of all early animals, roaming the oceans for over 270 million years. Size: 16.25" W x 12.5" H (41.3 cm x 31.8 cm)
By the time trilobites first appeared in the fossil record, they were already highly diversified and geographically dispersed. Because trilobites had wide diversity and an easily fossilized exoskeleton, they left an extensive fossil record, with some 17,000 known species spanning Paleozoic time. The study of these fossils has facilitated important contributions to biostratigraphy, paleontology, evolutionary biology, and plate tectonics.
Provenance: acquired in 2008 from a French collector
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Minor repair and crack filling only to outer edge of rock plate. No fabrication.