Phacops speculator trilobite 53mm from Morocco, North Africa this trilobite dates back to the Devonian era, around 390 million years. This Order Phacopida, Phacops trilobite 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 spines evolved giving the invertebrate more defence.
We do not know positively, some theorist suggest they could also be for a feel or sensory defense. 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 its for length 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 is shed in the animal’s lifetime and we find them enrolled which could possibly have been a defence posture or either 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 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 complete specimens in the bedding plane, and deeper veins of sedimentary fossilerous limestone contribute in the whole and particularly to certain genus types such as the large Phacops trilobites becoming scarcer.