Trilobites, both in form
and taxonomy, are in a class by themselves. They are an early
example of Arthropods that date back to the Cambrian period (some
500 million years ago) and survive all the way until the great
mass extinction which demarcates the end of the Permian period
(approximately 250 million Years ago).
The class Trilobita was
one of the most dominant forms of life on earth for literally
millions of years. To date, no less than ten orders of Trilobita
have been classified. At least 17,000 distinct species existed
in the worlds oceans at one time or another, and more are
being discovered every year.
One of the reasons for
their great success was their ability to evolve into a variety
of species which specialized in finding nourishment from many
different sources, from scavenging to predation, from feeding
on plankton and even to developing symbiotic relationships with
other species. In addition, over time, more adaptive species
of Trilobites developed thicker shells and were able to curl
up more completely, both traits which helped defend themselves
against more aggressive predators which appeared during the mid-Cambrian
As a result of their ubiquity
and longevity, fossils of trilobites are found in many locations
around the globe. Some of the most renowned sources for trilobite
fossils are found in Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Morocco,
Russia, as well as in the United States. Because they are plentiful
and can be obtained at reasonable prices, trilobites are a wonderful
entrée into the world of fossil collection.
They make wonderful cabinet
displays for the novice collector who one or a few exemplars
from this fascinating class from the Arthropoda Phylum. For the
serious collector, however, this is surely one of the only (and
undoubtedly one of the most economical!) ways to create a formidable
fossil collection from a class found in the Animal kingdom which
is completely extinct!
A word to the wise collector
- always take careful note when collecting trilobites to see
the method in which the specimens have been cleaned from their
matrixes. An item may be considered of much lesser quality (and
hence of much lower resale value) if sharp detail cannot be discerned
on the body of the fossil.
The specimens you purchase
should have fully intact antennae and clearly delineated segmentation
to be worthy of your collection! We at
., of course, only
deal in the finest of specimens of trilobites and only carry
items we ourselves would be proud to display in our own homes.