2.15" Dicranurus Trilobite - Black Cat Mountain, Oklahoma
This is a 2.15" long specimen of the spiny Dicranurus elegans, one of the rarer trilobites from the Haragan Formation. Typically only a few of them are found each digging season at the Black Cat Mountain Quarry. It's long, flowing spines and distinctive "rams horns" make it a much sought after trilobite.
The Black Cat Mountain Quarry produces a limited number of arguably the most beautiful trilobites in the United States each year. Each specimen is meticulously prepared by Bob Carroll under microscope to expose the smallest details. This is a very time consuming process taking many hours but yields spectacular results.
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 currently described species, filling nearly every evolutionary niche. Due in large part to a hard exoskeleton (shell), they left an excellent fossil record.