Drotops megalomanicus trilobite an excellent and aesthetically pleasing specimen on a bronze stand. Previously known as Phacops rana africanus, this species is well known for its large, robust body and size. Phacops Rana Africanus. From Morocco, North Africa dates back to the Devonian era, around 390 million years.
The 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 time and 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. We do not know positively; some theorist suggests 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, tri-lobite, 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 shell is shed in the animal’s lifetime, and we find them enrolled which could 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 due to layers at greater depths. There are many other factors for consideration which influence the outcome of fossils trilobite collecting in Morocco. 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 older established beds suffer erosion, more frequent flooding, increasingly dwindling supply of decent specimens in the bedding plane, and deeper veins of fossiliferous sedimentary limestone contribute particularly to the large Phacops types becoming scarce.