Trilobite Gabriceraurus - ROM2004_982_2

Trilobite fossils, Gabriceraurus hirsuitus (Ludvigsen), collected 1993

Trilobite Gabriceraurus

Geography: Canada, Ontario
Date: 1993
length=11.5; width=7 mm
    • Attributes
    • Objects
    • Taxonomy
    • Kingdom: Animalia
    • Phylum: Arthropoda
    • Class: Trilobita
    • Order: Phacopida
    • Family: Cheirurudae
    • Genus: Gabriceraurus
    • SpecificEpithet: hirsuitus
Object number: 46105
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. It may look as though these two complete trilobites are “mother and baby”, but they are both adults of unrelated species that were preserved together.
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