Sweet Elrathia Kingii With Sparkling Pyrite

Here is a sweet little Elrathia kingii trilobite for sale. It's just over 1 inch long and collecting in the Wheeler Shale near Delta Utah. It has great preservation and there is even some pyrite (fools gold) which adds sparkle to areas on it's head and tail. This trilobite has been prepared using air abrasives as opposed to the typical grinding wheel method which takes more time but yields a much nicer trilobites.

Elrathia is a famous genus of trilobite that had an amazing ability to thrive where other ancient animals could not. They patrolled the deep, muddy waters offshore of the ancient continent Laurasia.

While other organisms enjoyed the good life of sunshine and warmth along equatorial shorelines, Elrathia filled the dark benthic zone on the border of very little oxygen and none at all.

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Trilobites being collected in the Wheeler Shale.
Trilobites, one of the earliest arthropods, first appeared in the Early Cambrian (521 mya) They are relics of the Cambrian Explosion. Elrathia proves that adaptation to such inhospitable environments had developed as early as the Middle Cambrian (509-497 mya). The size and prolific presence of Elrathia kingii is extraordinary for an inhabitant an exaerobic world. There must have been a significant food web- which is an ecological conundrum at this time.

Elrathia kingi lived in a sunless world whose primary producers may have used energy sources that still remain a mystery. Rapid burial and underwater landslides helped to preserve a snapshot of their life on the edge. Trilobites were tough, dominating, and diverse- yet they did not make it beyond the mass extinction at the end of the Permian (250 mya).

The Wheeler Shale, a remnant of an ancient embayment where the ocean intruded into Utah, is perched in the strikingly arid and steep terrain of the House Range. Walcott awarded the areas limestone rocks and clay their title, but long before Walcott, Native Americans in the region regarded the trilobites with respect and appreciation. Today there are several commercial quarries operating in the Wheeler Shale including U-Dig where you can dig your own trilobites.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Elrathia kingii
LOCATION
House Range, Utah
FORMATION
Wheeler Shale
SIZE
1.04"
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#161
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