It wasn't my intention to do this today. It really wasn't. I had a different fossil planned for today. But....I just have to show this off.*

Let me just start right away by getting all the legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way; Hi everybody! Welcome to Friday Rocks! This is the day I indulge myself by sharing my love for rocks with dead things.

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While this might just look like another example of sea floor detritus, I have to confess that....it is. And I knew it when I bought it. The seller only showed one picture of it, and it was very close to the one I have posted above. I wanted it because it has four large pygidium from Dalmaites. Dalmanites were, of course, trilobites. And these pygidium show the central axial lobe and left and right plueral lobes clearly. A couple of them also have well preserved telson's. (that's the little spike at the tip of the tail).

So, I purchased it with just a brief description along the lines of 'Several Dalmanites pygidium with various associated fossils'. The price was very reasonable, and since it was coming from Poland, I didn't mind the $12 shipping.

Well, this fossil arrived yesterday. (err....since I'm typing this on Thursday, that would mean it arrived Wednesday). First, the box was heavier than I anticipated. This meant it was a larger specimen than I originally figured it would be. I opened it up and cursed the shipper for using packing peanuts. (they didn't use many, just to fill a couple of small gaps). I carefully unwrapped the bubble wrap and removed the protective tissue paper to reveal the fossil.

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That picture above? The description the seller gave? No justice for the actual fossil. That's why I couldn't wait. Let me share some more photos that help to show why I like this fossil so much.

Here is a closer view of the pygidium's. These are the reason I purchased the piece in the first place. See the spikes on the two in the center? Those are the telson I was talking about. Interspersed are various other pieces of the trilobites, mostly thorax segments, but if you look at the circled pieces, you'll see a cephalon. This came from a trilobite that molted, because at the 9 o'clock position you see the left free cheek, and at the two o'clock position you see the glabella. (center section of the cephalon). If you click the doohickey to enlarge the picture, you'll notice the eye that is very well defined. Look at all the individual lenses! And the glabella shows the bumps that help identify Dalmanites.

The square is a clam, or some other bivalve. The several net-like objects are bryozoans.

Same thing, only slightly zoomed out and rotated 90 degrees. Again, enlarge the picture to see the detail. The polygon is around the bivalve from the previous picture. The circle is arouns another glabella. Not only are the bumps clear, you can make out the small hills and valleys that determines species. This one is Dalmanites myops. The rectangle shows either a bivalve or brachiopod. This is a much better specimen than I was expecting. After admiring all the little goodies I could see, I decided to turn the piece over.

One the flip side were all sorts of little treasures. The circle is surrounding a gastropod. You know, a snail? Escargot? Booger in a shell? The pentagon is showcasing the cephalon, (minus the free cheeks), of an undetermined trilobite. The large rectangle is highlighting a brachiopod. The long thin rectangle is showing off a crinoid stem. Again, more bryozoans and other parts of trilobites and crinoids. Just above the gastropod is another, larger crinoid stem.

Still on the flip side, the oval is showing an almost perfect brachiopod. The square shows a tiny scallop. How tiny? About 4mm. The pentagon shows an unknown species of bivalve. And finally.....

This is a blurry picture of another Dalmanites pygidium. It's a young one as it measures about 5mm. I didn't realise it was blurry until I had already put the fossil in my cabinet, and I was, frankly, too lazy to try again. But I decided to show it because it's the only picture I took that shows off the sides of the piece. As you can see, it's about 1 1/2 inches thick. And I know it's hard to see, but if you look at the side, you can see multiple dark lines. Each one of those lines is also another fossil. If I were to split this rock open, there's no way of knowing what I'd find. There's also no real way of knowing how much time separates the fossils on the top from the fossils on the bottom. It could be a few years, a few hundred years, or they could be the same age and all died in a massive mud slide.

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Anyway, that's the fossil I have for today. Next week I'll feature what I originally was going to feature today but didn't because this one made me so happy.

* New phone, new camera. Better, but learning how to use it still.