Drotops Megalomanicus Megalomanicus Struve 200mm previously known by Phacops rana africanus, however, similar anatomically featured trilobites discovered in North America led to a revision of nomenclature. Now named Drotops megalomanicus, the species is well known for its bulky, robust body and size. The Drotops megalomanicus megalomanicus thoracic segments have been engineered by evolution to interlock and provide armour with flexibility.
Drotops megalomanicus megalomanicus from North Africa dates back to the Devonian era, around 390,000,000 years. Named from Greek latin megalo, great or large, mania, frenzy or madness.
Under the chitin exoskeleton the arthropod defended its soft body parts now lost to the ravages of the fossil bed. In this type, the tubercles seen on the carapace or exoskeleton have no spines, in other types spines evolved giving the invertebrate more defence.
Some theorist suggests these appendages could also be for a feel or sensory defence. Amazing and intriguing, we have so much to learn from these little invertebrates part of the arthropod group. Three lobes longitudinally make up the carapace, these name it, from the Greek, tri-lobite, three lobes which run from the cephalon into the pygidium, also the three parts of the exoskeleton which often separate in the fossil beds are the glabella (head), thorax and pygidium. These make up the complete carapace or exoskeleton, and this is often shed in the moult as the animal grew and one can find them enrolled which could have been a defence posture or the shed carapace fossilised.
Fewer complete specimens are unearthed from fossil sites of Morocco compared to the heyday of discoveries, exhausted beds become more difficult to manage over time.
There are many other factors for consideration which influence the outcome of collecting. Once collecting a specimen of good quality was a relatively successful process, available across several Moroccan trilobite species, we now find fewer quality specimens available.
Many established fossil sites suffer erosion, more frequent flooding, dwindling specimen content in the bedding plane, and deeper veins of fossiliferous sedimentary limestone contribute particularly to good findings becoming scarce.