Soft Bodied Triarthrus Trilobite Plus a Worm

This is a spectacularly preserved specimen of Triarthrus eatoni with preserved legs and antennae. It is 13mm (.52 inches) in length and the gold colored, pyrite preservation of the shell is better than the vast majority of trilobites from this site. As a bonus there is also a small soft bodied worm preserved behind it (curled) and a partial second Triarthrus near the side of the matrix.

The localities that preserve trilobites with soft bodied preservation can probably be counted on one hand. One of these localities is the historic Beecher's beds in the Lorraine Group of NY. Less than a decade ago a new locality was discovered a short distance away that has produced amazing, soft bodied preservation of trilobites and other organisms. Because of the rapid burial of the trilobites, in an anoxic environment the soft body parts were replaced by pyrite preserving details not typically seen.

Preparation of these soft bodied specimens is an immensely time consuming task. It is done under high magnification using extremely low pressure air abrasion. A specimen like this would have taken several hours to complete.
Triarthrus eatoni
Lewis County, NY
Whetstone Gulf Formation, Lorraine Group
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