The Walliserops trifurcatus trilobite (aka Trident Comura) is one of the most fascinating and bizarre trilobites ever known from the Devonian limestone of the Atlas Range. It is theorized that the long, forked protrusion jutting out from the cephalon was used for stirring up the ocean floor as the creature scavenged for food. They were shallow-dwelling marine animals that crawled across the prehistoric ocean floors nearly 400 million years ago.
This Walliserops has an unusually high array of spines down its back. If you have been holding out for a supreme quality example of this rare trilobite with all spines present AND GENUINE and free-standing, then this is a highly recommended specimen. This Walliserops exhibits a spectacular "crawling" pose on the original light gold colored limestone it perished on. Rock matrix has been left on the underside of the trident fork part for stability and strength. This pose exposes a beautiful array of high spines down its back. Usually, the spines on this trilobite are broken off in the preparation process as they are extremely delicate and small. Not so with this example. All three rows of spines running down the lobes of this trilobite and all other cephalonic spines have been exposed and are free-standing. Inferior specimens have all these broken off or replaced with fake spines. Beware of bargain-priced examples that resemble prepared trilobites with free-standing spines. Entirely fake or real trilobites with fake spines can be had for a fraction of the price of one like this with the genuine spines.
Eye lens detail is excellent as seen in the close-up images above. Even the tiny spines on the cheeks just below the eyes are present, 100% genuine and finely detailed plainly visible in the close-up images! This is a RARE and complete, genuine specimen with no restoration. The genuine "pitchfork-like" rostral process shows ridges running down each tine, an indication of a genuine fork rather than a carved, reconstructed one. A very highly recommended and rare version of Walliserops.
If you are a serious trilobite collector, this will be a very valuable and highly-prized addition. ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER SPECIES, BUT THIS ONE A RARE VARIANT WITH LONG TAIL SPINES. A MUST HAVE FOR ALL TRILOBITE FANCIERS AND PREPARED WITH FAR MORE DETAIL THAN MOST OTHER EXAMPLES!!!
WARNING: There are several different grades of spiny trilobites on the market now with seemingly identical and very convincing appearances. Fakers have mastered producing 100% complete replicas of trilobites with free-standing spines. There are also classes of trilobites offered from the source that have varying degrees of fabrication such as a genuine trilobite but with all spines being fabricated. Prices generally will reflect the quality as the source preparators and sellers know the global prices and charge accordingly for the different degrees of authenticity of their specimens. Nevertheless, price should not be your only guide. Often, features such as thicker than normal spines and a dull, almost chalky appearance without any natural satin luster to the creature are some obvious signs of fakes. Know how to tell a genuine from a fake by reading this and rely ONLY on established professional sellers who have active experience in fossil preparation and will offer you an unconditional LIFETIME guarantee IN WRITING of the authenticity of the specimen.