Trilobites were a very diverse group of extinct marine arthropods. They first appeared in the fossil record in the Early Cambrian (521 million years ago) and went extinct during the Permian mass extinction (250 million years ago). They were one of the most successful of the early animals on our planet with over 25k described species, filling nearly every evolutionary niche. Due in large part to a hard exoskeleton (shell), they left a excellent fossil record. FossilEra provides a selection of authentic trilobite fossils for sale from around the world. Learn more about trilobites.
The last trilobites went extinct at the end of the Permian period over 20 million years before the first dinosaur appeared on earth.
While most trilobites were fairly small, averaging around an inch in length a few types could grow to over a foot in length. The largest trilobite ever found is 70 cm long and collected on the shores of the Hudson Bay in Canada.
Many species of trilobites particularly in the Devonian developed complex arrays of spines. These spines could have served as protection against predators such as fish.
Many types of trilobites could enroll into a ball much like "pill bugs" for protection.
Trilobites were one of the first animals we know of to have the eyes. They were unique in that they had multi-faceted eyes made out of calcite lenses.
Nearly all trilobite fossils are fossils of their external exoskeleton or shell. There are only a few localities in the world that preserve soft body parts such as legs, antennae and gills. A few of these are the Lorraine Shale of NY, the Burgess Shale and Maotianshan Shales in China.
There are tens of thousands of species of trilobites. Some are quite common while others are extremely rare. Only a fraction of the known species have ever been found complete.
Trilobite fossils are commonly found by splitting shales and limestones. Trilobites don't come out of the ground looking like the trilobites for sale on FossilEra. They often require many hours of preparation work under microscope to remove the surrounding matrix/rock.
Trilobite means three lobe but they are not named for their head (cephalon), thorax and pygidium, but rather for the three axial lobes that divide their body length-wise.
Even ancient humans collected trilobites. Trilobite fossils have been found in human burial mounds dating back 50k years.
Buy trilobite fossils from FossilEra with confidence knowing that you are getting authentic, well prepared specimens, and reasonable prices.
Washington state has now joined over a dozen other states to put in place “shelter in place” or “stay at home” orders. While we agree this is the correct course of action, it will have a substantial impact on our business. It effectively shuts down much of our company for several weeks.
We will continue taking orders on our website and we will have a single staff member at our warehouse to facilitate shipping of these new orders. Depending on the order volume this may mean that we do experience some shipping delays, particularly with large or fragile items that require more packaging time.
These shutdowns are particularly devastating to all small businesses who don’t have significant cash reserves and rely on constant cash flow to pay their fixed expenses (payroll, rent, loan payments, etc) We hope that you will continue to support us and satisfy your fossil fix during these trying times.