3/4 Inch Wide Enrolled Flexicalymene - Mt. Orab

 
Here's a very nicely enrolled Flexicalymene retrorsa from Mt. Orab, Ohio. Trilobites enrolled like this as a defensive measure to protect their soft underparts. This one is beautifully preserved and has been carefully prepared free of the surrounding rock under microscope.

Flexicalymene is a genus of trilobites of the order Phacopida, suborder Calymenina. These ancient arthropods are an index fossil of the Ordovician (488-443 mya). The graceful articulation, especially of the thorax segments, demonstrates that this distant precursor of insects is deserving of its delightful name.

Flexicalymene is often found enrolled, seemingly to protect its softer underside from threats on a sea floor teeming with ancient life and increasingly complex predators. Sealing itself inside the hard carapace may be a protective maneuver, or it may simply be the pose of death.

There are two species of Flexicalymene found in the Richmond Formation but in different sub-units. Flexicalymene meeki have small genal spines and is the more common of the two, often coming from Mt Orab, Ohio. These spines are absent in F. retrorsa. The F. retrorsa cephalon is more rounded, while the F. meeki cephalon is pronounced. They were also denizens at different locales. Calymene, meaning “beautiful crescent”, should not be confused with Flexicalymene. It is a separate genus.

Flexicalymene meeki has been studied for its abundant perforations. The perforations have been interpreted as the loci of sensory hairs. These loci occur in many sizes, and are an interesting feature of exoskeleton microfeatures. They are concentrated on those areas likely to contact other objects in the environment.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Flexicalymene retrorsa
LOCATION
Mt. Orab, Ohio
FORMATION
Arnheim Formation
SIZE
.74" wide
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#1017
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