The Strangest Trilobite - Walliserops Prep Sequence
The diversity of body shapes in the trilobites is astonishing, in size, shape and appearance. And the morphological variance exhibited by different "subspecies"/variations of the same genus just as interesting - like in case of Walliserops, a trilobite with trident-like fork extending from the front of the cephalon. There are curentlly 4 variations of Walliserops described, W. trifurcatus, W. hammii, W. tridens and W. lindoei, and at least 3 more undescribed, but some might represent sexual dimorphism within a single species or pathologies; at least when the shape of the fork is the "only difference". The specimen presented here has similarities both to long fork W. trifurcatus. and to W. hammi.
Glued fork is very typical for Walliserops prepared with a flying fork (removed, glued back), but note that the fork has been found disassembled in the matrix and for aesthetic reasons we decided to composite the fork back on... Fork was removed from the matrix and glued where it should be. There is a lot of labour in these bugs, but having prepped a number of these I could say perfect preservation is rare. This was a nice fast prep, but lets leave the talk to the pics.
Preped by A.Ž. for trilobiti.com:
Walli in cross section:
Walli a bit later:
You can see the position of the fork is not where it should have been:
Fork was removed from matrix:
And prep on Walli continued:
Fork and Walliserops:
And then glued on:
One for scale: