By Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl

The BELLACARTWRIGHTTIA whitelyi is a seldom-seen trilobite. As you may be well aware, trilobites are an extinct form of arthropod related to insects, crabs, crayfish, and horseshoe crabs. These creatures are called trilobite due to the three distinct “lobes” running vertically through the body section. The featured #TrilobiteOfTheWeek is BELLACARTWRIGHTIA whitelyi.

This species of trilobite is found in te Devonian sediments of the Penn Dixie Quarry just outside of Buffalo, New York, in Hamburg.

The thorax of this species is highly ornamented with spines extending from each thoracic segment and the pygidium. The glabella is heavily furrowed, and the crescent-shaped eyes are set high on the cephalon. The genal spines are quite long and reach back to the mid thorax. Typically this type of trilobite range in size of just around one inch long and rarely two inches.

Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl and his daughter, Jen “PaleoJen” Kchodl.

About the columnist: Joseph “PaleoJoe” Kchodl is a paleontologist, educator, veteran, author, fossil dig organizer/guide, business owner, husband, father, and grandfather, and fossil fanatic. For decades, he’s spent hours in classrooms around the Midwestern United States and beyond, speaking to school children about fossils and fossil hunting. Visit his site to purchase fossils, contact PaleoJoe, visit

Plus, learn more about PaleoJoe and his daughter PaleoJen and their paleontology exploration partnership in an the article Fueling a Passion for Paleontology.