Drotops Megalomanicus Trilobite 102mm previously known as Phacops Rana Africanus, however due to a re classification of North American trilobite of similar genus and anatomy, the north African trilobite has been renamed as Drotops Megalomanicus, this species is well known for its large multi lensed compound eyes, bulky, robust body and large size. This Drotops Megalomanicus's thoracic segments have been engineered by evolution to interlock and provide an armour like protection with a great degree of flexibility. Excavated from the Devonian levels of the Atlas ranges reaching out into the northern Sahara of southern Morocco, North Africa this trilobite dates back to the Devonian era, around 390 million years.
The Drotops megalomanicus thoracic segments provide great flexibility, under this chitin exoskeleton were the arthropods vulnerable body parts. Some genus types of the phacopida sported spines covering the whole body this type has the typical tubercles seen on the carapace (exoskeleton). Trilobites were so diverse and reigned for such a long period science has much to gleam from further fossil discoveries and research, we have much to discover yet.
This arthropod has three lobes running the length of its body, the three lobes name the invertebrate group, form the Greek, tri meaning three, lobos or lobe thence trilob or three lobes which which run the length of the carapace through to the pygidium (tail). Sometimes these are confused with three other main anatomical parts of the exoskeleton which are the glabella (head), thorax (mid section) and pygidium. These parts join together to make the whole body or carapace of the arthropod and which are shed as the trilobite grows, fossil diggers often locate the separate parts in the fossil layers also finding enrolled carapaces which palaeontologists theorise was a defence posture much like a woodlouse of today.
The conditions of the fossil beds to this particular region and of the genus of Drotops megalomanicus trilobite coming to an end, in as much as the beds are high in a mountainous region of the desert, the fossil layers are steep and ventrally angled making work very difficult. This coupled with much over burden of very hard Devonian sedimentary rock, making trenches cut through the limestone very deep therefore requiring many hours labour even before there is a chance of discovery. If all this wasn't arduous enough the source of trilobites has in recent years basically been drying up, the fossiliferous layers producing less and less fossil remains, there then becomes a point where with the limited hand tools hauled up the mountain to excavate the tonnes of rock becomes just too much of an ask for the hard pressed fossil digger. The author having worked in these fossil bed has had first hand experience of the huge amount of work required to secure a good specimen Drotops megalomanicus trilobite.