A spiny Comura trilobite from Morocco. This 350 million year old trilobite shows amazing detail including over 40 free standing spines and eye facets thanks to being encased in hard limestone. It was found when the limestone was broken and a cross section of the trilobite could be seen. It then had to be meticulously prepared from the surrounding rock under microscope. Truly a stunning specimen.
Trilobites are an extinct type of marine arthropod that had a hard exoskeleton. They were one of the dominant life forms in our oceans for 270 million years before going extinct along with 90% of all life during the Permian mass extinction. Owing to their hard shell they are often exquisitely preserved in limestones and shale.
Hadean The first geologic eon began with the formation of the Earth about 4,600 million years ago and ended 4,000 million years ago.
Thermal Genesis More broadly: abiogenesis - the natural process by which life arises from simple organic compounds. The earliest life on Earth existed at least 3,500 million years ago, at the beginning of the Archean Eon when sufficient crust had solidified following the molten Hadean Eon
Cambrian First geologic period of the Paleozoic Era, lasting from 541 to 485 million years ago. Although complex, multicellular organisms gradually became more common in the millions of years immediately preceding the Cambrian, it was during the Cambrian that life exploded, rapidly diversifying and producing the first representatives of many modern phyla, However, while diverse life forms prospered in the oceans, the land was comparatively barren.
Devonian A geologic period of the Paleozoic Era that occurred from 419 to 358 million years ago. This was the first significant adaptive radiation of terrestrial life.
Dunkleosteus could concentrate a force of up to 8,000 pounds (3,628 kg) per square inch at the tip of its mouth, effectively placing Dunkleosteus in the league of Tyrannosaurus rex and modern crocodiles as having the most powerful known bite. It was one of the earliest jawed fishes. Instead of actual teeth, Dunkleosteus possessed two long, bony blades that could slice through flesh and snap and crush bones.
Dunkleosteus was a large Placoderm that lived in the late Devonian period, about 380–360 million years ago. It grew up to 10 meters (33 feet) and was possibly the the size of a great white shark, making it most likely the top predator of its time.
The only remains of Dunkleosteus are it’s head armor pictured above.
"This Japanese sculptor carved his niche by carving out an army of clearly accurate dinosaur skeletons entirely out of wood. (…) Extraordinarily detailed, his work is not for sale, sometimes taking several months to complete one species." paleoartistry
350 million year old fossil coral head from the Western Sahara Desert of Morocco. The original coral has been agatized, replaced with silica based minerals and shows remarkable detail when polished. We have a lot of this material for sale at FossilEra.com
Extinct Animals of the Cambrian to the Cretaceous!
This will be a limited edition 11x17 print exclusively for sale at spx this year!
I love extinct animals, especially lesser-known and non-dinosaur ones. So here are some critters from the Paleozoic through the Mesozoic. Don’t take the period designations too literally, it’s more of a “pretty much around this time” thing, since I couldn’t fit all of them exactly where they should be, scientifically. I’d love to do a sister-image to this with the Cenozoic era!
Here’s a list of the creatures featured! Cambrian Period Hallucigenia Opabinia Trilobite
Silurian Eurypterus Nektaspida
Devonian Tiktaalik Dunkleosteus
Carboniferous Akmonistion Pederpes Arthropleura
Permian Dimetrodon Saroctonus
Early Triassic Erythrosuchus
Middle Triassic Batrachotomus Ceresiosaurus
Late Triassic Oligokyphus
Early Jurassic Temnodontosaurus
Late Jurassic Rhamphorhynchus Pterodactylus Brachiosaurus Liopleurodon
Early Cretaceous Microraptor Deinonychus Gobiconodon
Late Cretaceous Protoceratops Hesperornis Corythosaurus
A nicely prepared specimen of the Middle Devonian trilobite Crotalocephalina (Crotalocephalus) gibbus just listed for sale on FossilEra.com for $99. The limestone matrix was prepared so that it looks almost like it was crawling off of the rock. No restoration.
When: Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous (385 - 320 million years ago)
Where: The seas that covered what is now North America and Europe
What: Stethacanthus is an extinct shark. Over all this ancient shark is an excellent example of the amount of conservation the simple shark body plan has seen throughout the eons. It is relatively small, 2.3ft/70 cm long, and has a general form very much like an extant shark. The one major exception to this is the shape of its dorsal fin. It was flattened and covered with enlarged denticles (the particles in shark skin that give it it’s sandpaper texture). The head of Stethacanthus was also topped with enlarged denticles. Though some sort of courtship role has been suggested for the structures, detailed studies have determined that the dorsal fin could be flexed forward, to start to come into occlusion with the patch of denticles on the top of the head. This would give the illusion of a much bigger mouth than Stethacanthus actually possessed, allowing this little pre-historic shark to hopefully scare off potential predators.
Sea scorpions, or eurypterids, were the largest arthropods the world has ever seen.
8.2 feet (2.5 meters) long
18-inch (46-centimeter) spiked claw
They had a pair of pincers, and in some species these too could become very large. Sea scorpions were predators that were in their heyday in the Silurian and Devonian, though they survived into the Permian.
Here is a killer Zlichovaspis rugosa trilobite that has been expertly prepared in a “flying” pose. The prep work on this piece is FANTASTIC with all the microscopic surface details on the exoskeleton present. All of the dozens facets in the segmented eyes can easily be seen. The trilobite is slightly arched which causes the genal spines which have been prepared free of the matrix to stick upwards at a 45 degree angle. A very beautiful and impressive specimen. Just added for sale at FossilEra.com