1.85" Hoplolichoides Trilobite With Cystoids - Russia

 
 
 
 
This is a stunning example of one of the more exotic types of trilobites from the St. Petersburg region of Russia, Hoplolichoides furcifer. It's 1.85" long, very 3-dimensionally and has beautiful, bumpy shell preservation. The preservation and preparation on this specimen is truly exceptional. There are a couple of cystoids on the rock next to the trilobite.

The trilobite has been remounted on the limestone so the cystoids may not have been originally associated with it. There is a pretty good amount of shell restoration spread out in small patches on the shell of the trilobite, likely due to the restoration of weathering.

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Photo of the Vilpovitsy quarry near St. Petersburg Russia where this trilobite was found.


Trilobites were a very diverse group of extinct marine arthropods. They first appeared in the fossil record in the Early Cambrian (521 million years ago) and went extinct during the Permian mass extinction (250 million years ago). They were one of the most successful of the early animals on our planet with over 25k described species, filling nearly every evolutionary niche. Due in large part to a hard exoskeleton (shell), they left a excellent fossil record.


Cystoids extinct echinoderms similar to crinoids. They consist of a stalk, theca (body) and brachials (feeding arms). Most lived fixed to the seafloor but some were more mobile. Like modern echinoderms, cystoids were arranged in a five fold symmetric pattern and had a water vascular system. Unlike most echinoderms, Cystoids had triangular calcite plate at it body openings and its calcite plate had pores that are thought to have been for breathing.

Cystoids first appear in the Cambrian Period. They reach the peak in their diversity during the Ordivician and Silurian Periods. Cystoids die out at the end of the Devonian or early in the Carboniferous Period.

Cystoids resembled flowers but were in fact, animals. They had a stem that attached them to the seafloor, a theca, and brachials. The theca contained the vital organs of the Cystoid and was made up of calcite plated that formed a spherical or ovate body. The brachials were the feeding arms that extended from the top of the theca. These arms were arranged in three or five fold symmetry and funneled food to the mouth at their center. Cystoids and crinoids look similar but have some distinct differences. The main difference is in the shape of the main body of the organisms. Cystoids had a spherical or ovate theca, while crinoids had a cup shaped calyx. Cystoids also have triangular plates at body openings while crinoids had variably shaped plates.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Hoplolichoides furcifer
LOCATION
Vilpovitsy quarry, St. Petersburg region, Russia
FORMATION
Asery level
SIZE
1.85" long on 3.8x3.8" limestone
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#99197
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