Big, Enrolled Lochovella (Reedops) Trilobite - Oklahoma
This is a very large, enrolled Lochovella (Reedops) deckeri trilobite from the the famous Black Cat Mountain Quarry in Oklahoma. It is 1.28" wide, which equates to about 2.5" long if outstretched. The beautifully preserved shell contrasts nicely with the light colored marlstone. Nice preparation on this specimen preserves even the finest of details including the many eye facets and microscopic bumps on the shell.
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 described species, filling nearly every evolutionary niche. Due in large part to a hard exoskeleton (shell), they left a excellent fossil record.