Rare Proceratocephala Odontopleurid Trilobite

Proceratocephala sp

Class Trilobita, Trilobites Order Odontopleurida, Family Odontopleuridae

Geological Time: Lower Ordovician

Size: 45 mm long

Fossil Site: Lower Ktaoua Formation, Tazzarine, Morocco

Proceratocephala TrilobiteDescription: Elegant example of an unusual trilobite which as an Odontopleurid has many fine relatives in Dicranurus, Leonaspis, and Ceratonurus. This one has a plethora of spines, most of which have been painstakingly prepared freestanding, making for a spectacularly displayed specimen. To what purpose could such a spiny armament be put? The answer DEFENSE cries out; with fish only recently having developed true jaws, any advantage a prey species could evolve would stand it in good stead in the eternal predator/prey arms race. I have seen this one listed as Diacanthaspis in commercial offerings, but this one is different in possession of paired spines in the axial ring. This one is a member of the genus Proceratocephala. The known species, Proceratocephala terribilis has 3 spines between the long pygidial spines, while this one has four. As a consequence, it may be an as yet undescribed species. Whatever its exact affinities, it is a truly stunning Lower Odovician trilobite.

Proceratocephala Trilobite

Proceratocephala Moroccan Trilobite

Fossil Images Provided by Trilobites Family Album

Also see: Moroccan Trilobites

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