Drotops megalomanicus trilobite 69mm previously known as Phacops rana africanus, however due to Trilobites of similar anatomy, its name was revised. Re-named Drotops Megalomanicus. The confusion arose with the Phacops of north America and the great similarities between the types. The genera Drotops is known for its bulky, robust body and size, Drotops Megalomanicus thoracic segments have been engineered by evolution to interlock and provide armour with flexibility. Now named Drotops Megalomanicus and also previously known as Phacops Rana Africanus. From Morocco, North Africa this trilobite dates back to the Devonian era, around 390 million years.
This Drotops megalomanicus trilobite Megalomanicus 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 as Drotops armatus, spines evolved giving the invertebrate more defence.
We do not know positively why these spines evolved in some types, some theorist suggest they could be for a feel or sensory defence or perhaps a sexual display or dimorphism. Amazing and intriguing as they are, we have much to learn from these little bugs! The arthropod has three lobes longitudinally, these name it, from the Greek, tri, three and lobos or lobes, trilobite, these lobes run from the cephalon (head shield), into the pygidium (tail section), also the three parts of the exoskeleton which often separate in the fossil beds these are the cephalon, thorax (body) 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. This carapace is also referred to as a molt, as in a most of skin. As the arthropod grew it molted its hard chitin carapace.
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. Once collecting specimen of good quality was a relatively successful process, available across several Moroccan trilobite species, we now find less 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 fossilerous limestone contribute particularly to the large Phacops types becoming scarcer.