Bellacartwrightia Trilobite with Preserved Color Patterns
Order Phacopida, Suborder Phacopina,
Superfamily Acastoidea, Family Acastidae
is 37 mm long
Hamburg Group, Erie County, New York
This is a most unusual trilobite. Notice the pleasing café
au lait color, and the regular darkened spots to the exoskeleton.
These markings have been interpreted as the positions of internal
muscle attachments. An alternative hypothesis is that the dark
are actually preserved melanophores which could expand and contract,
allowing the trilobite to change color as it moved about the seafloor
surface much like the extant Plaice and Sole. Whatever the correct
interpretation, these colors are of natural, rather than diagenic
Paleontology Vol. 11, Part 4, 1968 pp 498-9.
trilobite pictures to enlarge