Arctinurus boltoni, a fossil trilobite from New York, USA - ROM2004_982_4

Trilobite fossil, Arctinurus boltoni (Bigsby), collected 1994

Arctinurus boltoni, a fossil trilobite from New York, USA

Fossil: 14 (L) x 11 (W) cm
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • KingdomAnimalia
    • PhylumArthropoda
    • ClassTrilobita
    • OrderLichida
    • FamilyLichidae
    • GenusArctinurus
    • SpecificEpithetboltoni
Object number: ROMIP50094-42321
Not on view
DescriptionTrilobites are an extinct group of arthropods—joint-legged invertebrates (animals without a backbone). Trilobites had a sturdy, mineralized outer “shell” (exoskeleton) that covered the upper body. The exoskeleton featured a prominent middle lobe and two side lobes running down its length (hence the name tri-LOBE-ite). It was also divided cross-wise into three sections: a cephalon (head) usually with a pair of prominent, mineralized, compound eyes; a thorax (middle region) with between 2 and 40 narrow segments, hinged for flexibility; and a pygidium (tail). Individual bits of exoskeletons are often found as fossils, representing separate pieces shed during growth or parts of carcasses broken apart after death. Complete exoskeletons are much less common, and fossils preserving non-mineralized body-parts (legs, etc.) of trilobites are very rare. All trilobites were sea-dwellers—most crawled on or burrowed into the sea-floor, some swam or floated. The oldest trilobite fossils come from rocks about 540 million years old, and the last trilobites died out about 250 million years ago. This distinctive trilobite was first described and named by John Jeremiah Bigsby, who carried out some of the first geological explorations of Canada in the early 1800s. It is named for its discoverer, Lieutenant Bolton of the Royal Engineers, in 1825.
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