Trilobite fossil

Object of the Month: 07/2006

What is it?:

Trilobite fossil

Age: Approx. 450 million years old
Where was it collected:

Lilydale Brickworks, St. Paul, 1986


9 inches long

Accession #: P86:6:1

Trilobite fossil
Trilobite fossil

Giant of the ancient seas

Nine inches long, this is the largest trilobite fossil ever discovered in Minnesota. Most trilobites could fit in the palm of your hand.

Ancient relatives of crabs and lobsters, trilobites flourished from 250 to 550 million years ago. Their remains are found on every continent.

The original fossil, shown above, is missing the top of its head.

Notice the mouth plate, the horseshoe-shaped piece on the fossil. In life, this would have been on the underside of the trilobite.

Streamlined for plowing through the ocean floor, this species probably sucked up worms and other animals hiding in the sand.

You can see more trilobite specimens in the Dinosaurs and Fossils Gallery
on level 3 of the Science Museum of Minnesota.