Incredible pyritized TRIARTHRUS trilobite with EGGS


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Here is a spectacular pyritized TRIARTHRUS trilobite WITH EGGS from the famous “Beecher Beds” in Oneida County, Central New York near Rome. This is a TRIARTHRUS eatoni that was collected by Markus Martin, the man who discovered fossilized trilobite eggs associated with the “Gold Bugs”.

This is a spectacular prone pyritized Triarthrus trilobite complete with eggs, antennae and legs visible. The eggs are visible with microscope or good magnification.
The trilobite is sits on a dark gray matrix.

From the famous Beecher Beds of Central New York this rare pyritized “Gold Bug” Triarthrus eatoni displays fossilized soft tissue. Soft tissue rarely fossilized in a life form but in this case the individual legs and antennae can clearly be seen. They were buried very quickly in deep water in anoxic (low oxygen level) conditions in storm-bed deposits. The very fine grains of sediment were instrumental in the spectacular preservation of these trilobites. Because of the low level or non existence of oxygen,  bacterial action and decomposition was slow or non existent allowing the soft tissues to be pyritized.

The trilobites are generally found in very thin mudstone layers. When the rock is split if the trilobites are dorsally visible, you can clearly see the pyrite and know the trilobite lies within the rest of the piece. With ventral trilobites, all that is seen is a small depression and painstaking preparation must be done in order to expose the soft tissue legs, gill branches and antennae. The preparation consists of an air abrasive unit, a mini sandblaster slowly and gently removing the matrix at a low air pressure. If the pressure is too great, the pyrite is blown off the matrix.

These beds were originally thoroughly excavated by Charles Beecher from Yale University (hence the name Beecher’s Beds) from 1893 to 1895.  Once he had completed work the location was thought to be exhausted of fossils and excavations ceased. However in recent years a site was reopened and the trilobites rediscovered.

The area where found is considered a Konservat-Lagerstätte. A Lagerstätte is a sedimentary deposit that shows exceptional detail in the fossils that are preserved sometimes including the soft tissues. The deposit is located within the Frankfort Shale in Oneida County near Rome, New York.

This is Markus’ actual description of the eggs. The photograph highlighting the eggs with red circles, courtesy of Markus Martin
“eggs that have wiggled free either due to gasses when the bug was rotting, or due to the protaspid trilobites in the eggs wiggling about after death.” Markus Martin.

This is a great bug a must have for any serious trilobite collector.
It is 11 mm long and exceptionally prepared on an irregular dark gray matrix 58 mm x 50 mm.

Frankfort Formation
“Beechers Bed”
Oneida County
Rome, New York

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