Rare Spiny Trilobite
Wolchow Valley, Russia
If there was ever a creature that resembled an alien from a distant galaxy, this 450-million-year-old Hoplolichas from Russia is unquestionably the one. Every segment and body part, the ornate head spine and even the eyes themselves, are covered with spines. Long, thick spines project forward off the glabella (nose) and another pair rise high above the ninth axial ring of the thorax (body) when enrolled head to tail. In life, these spines would have projected outward as a deterrent to predators. It has been suggested that the heavily spined surface of this species allowed otherwise immobile animals to attach and ride, a practice used by modern trilobites' close relatives, the crabs. With its amazing defensive spines and exoskeleton, this is one of the most beautiful and rare of all the trilobite species.
Measures 6 x 6 x 2.5in; specimen measures 2in