Saturday, June 02, 2007

Catch of the Day

This is a Hemiarges paulianus, a 440-million-year-old trilobite from suburban Ottawa that I found four years ago. It's finally been prepped out of the shale-limestone that it was partially buried in.
Since 99.999% of the people who read the blog aren't trilophiles, here's why this piece is, to me, so cool. It's probably the best one ever found. The typical fossils of this type of trilobite are dime-sized and look like they were run over by a truck. This one's fat, 3D, hard-shelled and about three times as big as the normal examples of the species.
So what's it worth? To the few thousand people in the world who collect trilobites the way other geeks collect stamps, coins and Pokemon cards, having the best one of any type of bug is worth something, usually up in the five figures. This one will end up in the Royal Ontario Museum, so, I suppose, it belongs to all of us. These are some of the other pieces in my collection.
I found it on blasted rock in a limestone quarry. One day later, and it would have been crushed into gravel and would be part of the roadbed of the Highway 417 extension.

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