Parahomalonotus planus trilobite is sometimes referred to as the packman trilobite because when it is discovered in an enrolled position, which it often is, this trilobite has a striking resemblance to the arcade game character. Here is a fine Parahomalonotus planus prone on the original matrix which is the fossil bedrock, displaying some fine anatomical features of this genus. So describing this trilobite, the cephalon which is the head shield, has the typical and reasonably small eyes which are clearly visible. The glabella the head, is complete and so are the following thoracic segments which are characterful in a jumbled arrangement falling one into the other, due to the chaotic circumstances of the favourable petrification and fossilisation process which enabled this invertebrate to be encapsulated for four hundred million years. This gives the specimen a certain naturalistic quality and undoubted authenticity. The pygidium which is the tail, smooth yet distinctly displays a faint ribbed pygidium carapace, carapace is the name of each part of the exoskeleton of the whole ancient arthropod.
Location note. Sometimes the locations of trilobite fossil sites does get a bit confusing and from a long geographical distance no one is infallible. A cautionary note from our trilobite diggers in the field. The location for this Parahomalonotus has sometimes been given as Oued Ghriss fossil bed. However the Oued or river, sources in the Atlas Mountains and runs down into the desert passing Goulmina, Erfoud, both named as fossil bearing locations and on through Rissani into the desert eventually across the border of Morocco and into Algeria. For the most of the year it is a dusty dried bed. This dry river bed runs into the desert for many kilometres to Ramila an enclave a little south east of the village of Tafraoute sidi Ali, within Morocco’s border. The fossil site where this Parahomalonotus planus trilobite came from is situated at M’haresh Ma’ader, if one were to draw a line from Tafraoute Sidi Ali to Ramlia and extend the same distance from the two to make a triangle apex in the direction of the north, this is roughly speaking the location of the Ma'ader fossil site. The mountains in this region are small compared to the high middle Atlas range and reach here around one thousand metres, this area is the northern Sahara desert and working conditions most of the year are difficult, the process of extraction of fossils here is an arduous task for our dedicated team.
The order of trilobites evolved sometime during the Pre-Cambrian period approximately 550 million years ago, or possibly much earlier, it is speculated that it could have been as much as seven hundred million years ago when the order of trilobites evolved. We first see trilobites in the fossil record from the Cambrian period, trilobites had by this time developed complex compound eyes which seemingly had a good depth of field and which allowed the trilobite to see images both near and far without much distortion, a carapace to protect it, along with flexible segments which allowed it to move freely and enrolled for defence? And ultimately swim freely in some varieties. Therefore one of the most complex forms of early life. The trilobites reign as far as we know it today, lasted over 270 million years coming to an end in the permian period 250 million years ago. Trilobite were diverse and their range was globally extensive.
A note on preparation and collection of the fossil trilobite. We have a dedicated team of professions in Morocco, colleagues who work with us and have done so for several years. These colleagues collect each fossil trilobite specimen we offer, unless otherwise stated in our descriptions. Therefore as we have historical links we can properly authenticate our fossil trilobites and write condition reports on each specimen with assured authority. Our specimens are cleaned in a Lab in Morocco and also in the Britain, unless otherwise stated. Using the latest micro air abrasive tools technicians sympathetically remove the surrounding limestone from each exoskeleton, enabling the fine display you see in the images above. This is dedicated work and takes many hours of intense concentration to achieve a high standard of preparation of these wonderful fossil invertebrates.
Phylum: Arthropoda, Subphylum: Trilobitomorpha, Class: Trilobita, Family: homalonotidae, described E J Chapman 1890, Sub Family: Eohomalonotinae described Hupé 1953, Order: Phacopida described Salter 1864, Sub order: Calymenina described Swinnerton 1915, Genus: Parahomalonotus, Genus specie: Parahomalonotus planus.