Drotops megalomanicus trilobite 138mm previously known as Phacops rana africanus, however, due to the discovered Trilobite of similar genus and anatomy in North America, its name has now been revised and named Drotops Megalomanicus and which this species is well known for its bulky, robust body and size exceptionally large eyes. The Drotops Megalomanicus thoracic segments have been engineered by evolution to interlock and provide armour with flexibility. From Morocco, North Africa this trilobite dates back to the Devonian era, around 390 million years. Named from Greek latin megalo, great or large, mania, frenzy or madness. Genus: Drotops Megalomanicus. (Phacops Rana Africanus). Phylum Arthropoda, Class Trilobita, Order Phacopida, Family Phacopidae, Genus Drotops, Species type D.megalomanicus, Binomial name Drotops megalomanicus, Struve, 1990. Age: Paleozoic Era, Middle Devonian, approximately 390 million years. Origin: Region Mader near Erfoud, Djebel Issimour, Alnif, Morocco North Africa.
A fine specimen of large size and interesting morphology. The exoskeleton in a good inflated and prone position displaying all the main attributes of this type. Interestingly the pygidium (tail), has started to disengage from the thorax (body) and in the images above this can be observed, a moment in time, frozen, this could have been due to the fossil process we will never know, however it is intriguing to contemplate the life of this invertebrate from a long ago era.
The Drotops megalomanicus trilobite thoracic segments have been engineered by evolution to interlock and provide armour with flexibility, under this 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 perhaps? We do not know positively, some theorist believe they could also be for a feel or sensory defence. Amazing and intriguing, we have so much to learn from these little bugs! This arthropod has three lobes longitudinally, these name it, from the Greek, trilobite, three lobes which run into the pygidium (tail), 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, this is shed in the animal’s lifetime and we find them enrolled which could possibly have been a defence posture or the shed carapace fossilised.
Fewer complete specimens are unearthed from many fossil sites of Morocco compared to the heyday of discoveries, exhausted beds become more difficult to manage over time as fossil material is excavated from deeper deposits. There are many other factors for consideration which influence the outcome of fossils trilobite collecting in Morocco generally. 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 older established beds suffer erosion, more frequent flooding, increasingly dwindling supply of decent specimens in the bedding plane, and deeper veins of sedimentary limestone contribute particularly to the large Phacops types becoming scarcer.