Phacops speculator trilobite, an authentic and superbly preserved ancient arthropod displaying exceedingly well on the original fossil matrix (rock bed) the invertebrate perished long ago. The whole carapace (exoskeleton) of the trilobite clearly defined for eternity in limestone minerals, enabling insight into the attributes of this type of Phacopid fossilised trilobite. The prolific pimples which are in fact termed tubercles covering the entire exoskeleton, the lobed and segmented exoskeleton fossilised while the softer body parts are inevitably almost always lost to the ravages of predation or bacterial decay before fossilisation. The enlarged (in relation to the body size) eyes are well defined. The whole process of preservation has been kind and is rare to such a degree that the trilobite displays a superb and inflated exoskeleton. Which elevates the trilobite up and away from the base rock in an excellent three-dimensional posture, as it might have been in life, thus giving a distinct idea of the size and form of the arthropod when living way back in time in the Devonian period.
The Phacops speculator trilobite has been cleaved from the fossil limestone rock, a fossiliferous seam of the trilobite fossil bed in the fossil site in mountains of Morocco. From that location (the fossil field) to a specialised fossil laboratory where the work of preparation was carried out. In the fossil bed. The carapace (exoskeleton) of the trilobite absorbs minerals which are made up of a very high degree of chitin calcification, i.e. primarily consisting of low-magnesium calcite, a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. The chitin carapace scholars believe formed from chitin fibrils, long chains of protein sub-units, chitin is translucent, very flexible and resistant, in arthropods chitin is modified becoming hardened proteinaceous which develops much of the carapace.
The Order Phacopida, Phacops trilobite has segments which 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 exoskeleton have no spines, to other kinds of phacopid spines evolved giving the invertebrate more sensory defence? Surprising and intriguing, we have so much to learn about these little prehistoric marine bugs! This arthropod has three lobes longitudinally, these name it, from the Greek, tri-lobe, three lobes which run into the pygidium (tail). Also, the three parts of the exoskeleton which often separate in the fossil bed, are the glabella (head), thorax and pygidium. These make up the complete carapace or exoskeleton, the exoskeleton repeatedly shed in the animal's lifetime, and we find them enrolled in the fossil record which could either be evidence of a defence posture or the shed carapace later fossilised.