5.6" Colorful Lower Cambrian Trilobite (Longianda) - Issafen, Morocco

This is a spectacular, 5.6" long example of Longianda termieri (Neltner & Poctey, 1950) from the Issafen Formation of Morocco. It has been beautifully prepared in high relief against the surrounding shale and the natural, rust colored highlights around the edges adds to the aesthetics of the piece.

In the past few years, deposits near Issafen, Morocco have begun yielding a new assemblage of Early Cambrian trilobites. This fauna is very diverse and consists mainly of ellipsocephalids, chengkouiids, gigantopygids, holmiids, neltneriids, saukiandids, and the latest fallotaspids. The shale is a greenish to slightly yellow color when freshly split, but weathers to a light grey.

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: over 25,000 species have been described, filling nearly every evolutionary niche. Due in large part to their hard exoskeletons (shells), they left an excellent fossil record.

Longianda termieri (Neltner & Poctey, 1950)
Issafen, Morocco
Issafen Formation
5.6" long on 7.9 x 6.1" shale
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