2.6" Spiny Comura Trilobite - Ofaten, Morocco
This is an impressive, 2.6" long specimen of the super spiny trilobite Comura bultyncki from the Tazoulait Formation of Morocco. There are nearly 40 free-standing spines, and yes they are all real. They eye facets are clearly visible in both eyes. There is about 3-4% shell restoration on this specimen, primarly on the left hand side plueral tips and on the tail.
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.