The snow has (only briefly, I hope) returned once again and it is coming close to May. I'm hoping this will be the last blast of winter... but I think I've said that before! The weather looks like it will turn around for the weekend and return to normal seasonal values. And that is great news as I gear up for a four day dig at three sites in NY next weekend with plenty of Fossil Forum folks.
Speaking of Forum folks, one of our very generous members, Ralph, sent me a lovely package of trilobite partials he was able to pick up from a rock show. Ralph was also exceptionally kind in sending me (and several others) large boxes of Conasauga Fm matrix from Georgia, USA to play with, loaded with Cambrian trilobites.
Pictured here are three species of trilobite new to my expanding collection (standing at a whopping 76 distinct species now). Let's zoom in...
These are the pygidia of the Silurian phacopid, Trimerus delphinocephalus that occurs in the Rochester shale of NY. These trilobites are narrow and could grow quite large and somewhat resemble Dipleura dekayi in terms of shape.
A nice assortment of partials of the dalmanatid, Dalmanites limulurus, also from the Silurian Rochester shale. These ones do not preserve very well, and many of the ones for sale are missing the cuticle and their eyes, with some people choosing to restore them by adding eyes from other partials to make a frankenbug. That is fine if the seller is honest about the restoration (not all sellers are, though). One remark about the Rochester shale trilobites is that they tend to appear as though "listing" in the rock, leaning to the right or left.
Although missing some parts, this is another phacopid, Huntoniatonia sp. Without more diagnostic detail, drilling down to the species level may not be possible with this one. This one appears in the lower Devonian limestone of the Haragan Fm in Oklahoma, which is also famously known for producing some lovely spiny and horned trilobites like Kettneraspis and Dicranurus which usually only appear in Moroccan deposits. To some trilobite collectors, Oklahoma is like a little Morocco with the similarities between species, although with continental drift now thousands of kilometres apart from one another.
So, a lovely gift from Ralph once again keeps my spirits up while the weather is not cooperating fully with my digging plans.