Phacops Rana Africana Trilobite

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SKU: P019


Phacops Rana Africana Trilobite measures 7.9 inches. Phacops Rana Africana Trilobite is museum quality polyurethane resin cast. Made in USA. Our precise trilobite can be used as a teaching tool, museum trilobite exhibit, home decor trilobite, or office decor trilobite.

Phacops rana Africana is a species of trilobite from the middle Devonian period. Their fossils are found chiefly in the northeastern United States, southwestern Ontario, and in Morocco.

They can be recognized by its large eyes (which remind some observers of a frog’s eyes—the specific name rana is a reference to a common frog), its fairly large size (up to 6 inches long), and its habit of rolling up into a ball like a pill bug (“volvation”).

In order to protect themselves from predators, they would roll into a ball with its hard exoskeleton on the outside as protection. Many other trilobites possessed the same ability, but Phacops rana Africana nearly perfected it.

The slightest amount of sediment would trigger their senses, and they would be hidden in a tiny shelter made of its own body. Although this safety feature often helped them to evade predators, occasionally it backfired and they would be buried under heavy sediment. Their fossils can still be found in balled-up positions 400 million years later.

Phacops rana Africana is found both in the northeastern U.S. and in Morocco; North America was attached to the African plate during the Devonian.

Because of its abundance and popularity with collectors, Phacops rana Africana was designated the Pennsylvania state fossil by the state’s General Assembly on December 5, 1988.

The most striking feature of the morphology and its relatives is their eyes. These differed from the eyes of most trilobites in having comparatively few lenses spaced between deep sclera. The lenses themselves were very rounded instead of largely flat. The eyes were mounted on turret-like structures which could swivel, providing the animal with an almost 360 degree field of view. This type of eye is known as the schizochroal eye.

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Additional information

Weight 3.4 lbs
Dimensions 7.9 in
Trilobite Phacops Rana Africana Facts

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: †Trilobita
Order: †Phacopida
Family: †Phacopidae
Genus: †Phacops
Species: †P. rana
Binomial name: †Phacops rana