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piranha

Trilobite Eggs Discovered!

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Auspex

I have wondered about this ever since I first learned what trilobites were...

What a discovery!post-423-0-20948300-1426287788.gif

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xonenine

amazing, and NY, no less...another fossil goes on the bucket list :)

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Raggedy Man

Fascinating

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Foozil

Wow... A-mazing...

Thanks for sharing. :D

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Herb

WOW! any pix? :goodjob:

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piranha

WOW! any pix? :goodjob:

According to the abstract it sounds like the images are still in the works. Hopefully a published paper is coming soon as well.

A more detailed view of the anatomy associated with the eggs is currently in progress with synchrotron x-ray tomography.

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Ludwigia

A logical assumption has finally been verified. It should certainly be interesting to read a published paper about it.

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Malcolmt

Way to go Markus!!!!!!! If eggs were to be found a good place to look would have been on his "goldbugs"

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Triceratops

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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Scylla

That is sooo cool!

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piranha
While looking for some unrelated material I stumbled across additional info on the alleged trilobite eggs from Zhang & Pratt 1994.
Evidently they were found to be worm eggs. It's also worth mentioning that Zhang & Pratt agree as co-authors of this recent paper:
 
 
Quote
The first phosphatized embryos were recovered from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Gaotai Formation in Duyun (Zhang and Pratt, 1994). Completely unexpected, these stirred considerable excitement and provoked a worldwide search for embryos in comparable limestones. The minute embryos were initially presumed to be of arthropod affinity because they occurred with many phosphatized eodiscoid trilobite protaspides—the only larval form in the same strata. However, a number of prehatching ‘egg-larvae’ (Fig. 2A and B , including Markuelia coiled within their egg membranes, were subsequently discovered from the original limestone bed (Zhang et al., 2011). These are oblate spheroid-shaped, and are roughly the same size as other known cleavage embryos (Fig. 2C). Thus the postulated trilobite affinity for the original specimens is incorrect and, rather, they belong to this scalidophoran worm taxon.
 
Shen, C., Pratt, B.R., Lan, T., Hou, J.B., Chen, L., Hao B.Q., & Zhang, X.G. (2013)
The search for Orsten-type fossils in southern China.
Palaeoworld, 22:1-9
 
 
 
 

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Raggedy Man

While looking for some unrelated material I stumbled across additional info on the alleged trilobite eggs from Zhang & Pratt 1994.

Evidently they were found to be worm eggs. It's also worth mentioning that Zhang & Pratt agree as co-authors of this recent paper:

So my question is, did the eggs settle by the trilobite or were they purposely laid on the trilobite so when they emerge a food source was immediately available?

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Auspex

So my question is, did the eggs settle by the trilobite or were they purposely laid on the trilobite so when they emerge a food source was immediately available?

My gut instinct is the latter, but we'll probably never know. It is possible too that the trilobite was there to eat the eggs...

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piranha
On 1/28/2016 at 7:49 AM, Raggedy Man said:

So my question is, did the eggs settle by the trilobite or were they purposely laid on the trilobite so when they emerge a food source was immediately available?

On 1/28/2016 at 7:55 AM, Auspex said:

My gut instinct is the latter, but we'll probably never know. It is possible too that the trilobite was there to eat the eggs...

 

 

The worm eggs were not laid on or near a mature trilobite. The worm eggs were found associated with trilobite larvae:

 

"The first description of Cambrian embryos was based on a few embryos of cleavage stages, which Zhang and Pratt (1994) had originally attributed to arthropods, presumably trilobites because eodiscoid protaspides were the only fossil larvae recovered in the same rocks."
 
Zhang, X.G., Pratt, B.R., & Shen, C. (2011)
Embryonic development of a middle Cambrian (500 myr old) scalidophoran worm.
Journal of Paleontology, 85(5):898-903
 
 
 

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Malcolmt

Great paper been waiting to read. Amazing preservation no doubt what they are.....

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piranha

We have come a long way from the first alleged trilobite eggs reported by Barrande and Walcott in the 1800's.

For an interesting historical perspective, here is Walcott's description and the subsequent rebuttal by Raymond. 

 

IMG1.jpg

 

Walcott, C.D. (1877)
Note on the Eggs of the Trilobite.
Annual Report of the New York State Museum Natural History, 31:66-67

 

IMG2.jpg

 

Raymond, P.E. (1931) Capsule-shaped "Eggs" 
In: Notes on invertebrate fossils, with descriptions of new species.
Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 55:165-213

 

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Ramon

Wow!!! I didn't even know trilobites layed eggs. What a great discovery!!!

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piranha
On 1/13/2017 at 10:23 AM, piranha said:

This highly anticipated paper has finally been published.

 

Enjoy! Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

 

Hegna, T.A., Martin, M.J., & Darroch, S.A. (2017)

Pyritized in situ trilobite eggs from the Ordovician of New York (Lorraine Group): Implications for trilobite reproductive biology.

Geological Society of America, Geology, 45(3):199-202

 

OPEN ACCESS PDF

 

 

 

 

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