The Harpes trilobites are amazingly exotic and yet very familiar in form, to the author they mimic or have influenced the mid-twentieth century idea of spaceships from distant galaxy's! The attributes of the specie are most notable by the wide heavily pitted brim, the fringe with a curled rim which has the appearance of a folded or crimped edge. From anterior brim emanate two stout yet elegantly free spines, long and tapering to a point (these refixed post-excavation work in the Lab), the genal spine and upper carapace similarly featuring the curled rim. The eyes are set back high on the glabella (mid head shield), while the thoracic segments (mid-body), well defined and have a flexure half way along the thorax just before the posterior of the pygidium (tail section) rolls underneath itself, a partially enrolled body section.
With reference once more to the Martian looking brim, this wide brim with innumerable pitting, could have been an aid to give the invertebrate lift, much like a hydrofoil, again this is theory, we may never know the exact purpose. One thing we do know is that this is another firm favourite of our team, a remarkably well preserved and conserved fossil trilobite which would grace most collections.
Over the 250 million year range of the trilobites many different morphological adaptions developed from free swimmers to bottom sifters. In this type an expanded and pitted cephalic (cephalon - headshield), fringe, is a distinct anatomical development, harpetids and trinucleids types have this. The function of the wide dished fringe of the Harpes is still a matter of conjecture.
Palaeontologists theorise the possible functions of these anatomical features, either being a wide sieve to filter bottom sediments for food or even possibly for detecting movement, a sensory organ, like a sonar dish or large receptor sounding dish, the function much like the large dishes on earth listening out into space.