Saturday, October 1, 2022

Triarthrus eatoni Trilobite Fossils

When I visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History in August 2022, one of the most historical invertebrate fossils I found were these two. These trilobite fossils are Triarthrus eatoni (Hall, 1838). They were found in the Utica Shale of Trenton, New York USA. During the Taconic Orogeny, the geological process of moutain-building ash, clay and organic carbon compacted into what became the Utica Shale. The fossils date to the Late Ordovician Period.

The historical part of the specimens is that they were collected by Charles Doolittle Walcott (1850-1927). He is famous for discovering the Cambrian Burgess Shale of Canada and was the 4th secretary of Smithsonian Institution. Walcott published a number of papers on trilobites including the 1894 Note of Some Appendages of the Trilobites and 1918 Appendages of Trilobites.

Recently, I bought a book that relates to this called The Appendages, Anatomy, and Relationships of Trilobites by Percy E Raymond. It was published in December of 1920 by Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Raymond was associate professor of palaeontology and curator of invertebrate palaeontologyin the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. It covers Charles Emerson Beecher (1856-1904) unpublished work on trilobites including the Triarthrus becki (Green, 1839?) found in the Utica Shale. Paleo-illustrator Elvira Wood (1865-1928) did quite a bit of work on this book.