Terataspis grandis (giant trilobite)
Age: Middle Devonian
Location: Erie County, New York
Formation: Williamsville Quarry, Onadaga Limestone
This species of trilobite has been known by Paleontologists and collectors alike for many years. There has never been a complete specimen found. However many segments of this trilobite have been found and based on those fossils a reconstruction as you see here has been done by Mr. George Rennie of Ct. under the guidance and research by Dr. Copeland McClintock of Yale University Division of Invertebrate Paleontology. At This time this model is on display at the Peabody Museum at Yale. To date this trilobite is considered to be the Largest known to have lived on the North American Continent. This specimen is 27 inches long, 17.5 inches wide on a matrix of 33x20 inches. There is 4 inches of relief on this 6 inch matrix.
Type species. Terataspis grandis is found in both the lower Onondaga Limestone of western New York, particularly the former Fogelsanger Quarry in Williamsville, Erie County, and the upper Schoharie Formation of eastern New York. The large size and spiny nature of this trilobite make it one of the more spectacular ones. Only one specimen is known from New York it is complete enough for a reasonable reconstruction. This specimen is upside down, and half, longitudinally, is missing. It is in the Buffalo Museum of Natural History, Buffalo, New York. The drawing shows where the genal spine appears on the exoskeleton. "Only one reasonably complete specimen is known from New York." Certainly a good number of pieces are known.
Trilobite means three lobes, and their exoskeletons are divided into-you guessed it!-three parts lengthwise. The middle (axial) lobe protected the digestive system while the outer (pleural) lobes are where the legs attached.
This specimen shows that these animals are also divided into three major sections, starting with the head (cephalon) then the accordion-looking thorax, pygidium bringing up the rear.
This now-extinct group of marine arthropods roamed the oceans for years. Simple but successful.
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