A very brief reprieve from the biting cold has meant a small thaw. I did do some poking around at my nearby honey hole, but didn't come away with anything worth showing. So, instead, I've been fiddling with my own fossils at home and exploring the productive postal formation. Let's have a look at prep fun first...
Readers of this blog may recall this slab that has undergone a bit of transformation since I found it back in October. Initially, there were two in the slab, and then I found a third one. Well, I probed some more and this rock keeps on giving.
So what's new? This close-up image tells the story. This is not an impression, but a ventral (underneath) side Greenops. Keep in mind that these guys are very delicate and have a tendency to flake easily even if you breathe too hard on them! This was a nerve-wracking experience as I've never prepped from the ventral side before. I suspect it is complete, but it is uncomfortably too close to a full specimen on top that is not laying directly on top, but that there is a few millimetres of matrix separating the two. If I go too close on the ventral bug, it may shatter the top one. Of course, I can shave it a bit closer, which is what I plan to do when I get the nerve!
Speaking of prep that can make one nervous, this is my new acquisition from the postal formation, courtesy of a trilobitologist in the UK. This is from Mt. Isshamour. Morocco, a Ceratarges sp. nov. from the middle Devonian. It is my second lichid trilobite. Although the pygidium is disarticulated from the main body, it does have those very nice "horns" that at the moment look like mouse ears until I can prep the matrix off (carefully!). The genal and pygidial spines are quite impressive, and it is likely these were developed as a form of protection against predation.
I am waiting on no fewer than four (and possibly more) packages from the postal formation in the next while, which will have to sustain my trilobite fever until winter ends and the collecting season kicks off in earnest.