Pair Of Large Lower Cambrian Trilobites (Longianda) - Issafen, Morocco

This is a spectacular double Longianda termieri specimen from Issafen, Morocco. This piece had been in my personal trilobite collection until recently.

Both trilobites are quite large and 5.6" and 4.8" long and well prepared to bring them out in high relief against the rock. They have a layer of rust-red limonite around their borders which is typical of many trilobites from this locality. The stone has mostly been removed around one specimen leaving it flying on a pedestal in a spectacular display. This trilobite also has some pyrite cubes embedded in its head, lending to the uniqueness 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" & 4.8" long on 9 x 6.5" shale
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