2.65" Huntonia Trilobite - Black Cat Mountain, Oklahoma
This is a beautiful, caramel colored, 2.65" long Huntonia huntonensis from the famous Black Cat Mountain quarry near Clarita, Oklahoma. This is one of the more uncommon species, and maybe a half dozen good specimens are found in a full season (100+ days) of digging at the quarry. There is a bit of disarticulation in the back half of the body but otherwise the preservation is beautiful.
The Black Cat Mountain Quarry produces a limited number of arguably the most beautiful trilobites in the United States each year. Each specimen is meticulously prepared by Bob Carroll under microscope to expose the smallest details. This is a very time consuming process taking many hours but yields spectacular results.
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.